The holiday season can be a time of happiness or dischord. Arizona-based Trinity Church Pastor Mark Driscoll says that family, and people in general, can best manage their interactions with the knowledge of three personality traits, according to a recent blog posted to his website.
1. The Wise
Driscoll says that the wise live by the Spirit of Christ. A wise person sees reality and accepts it. They want to do what's right, and will change their behavior when given the facts. They are teachable and seek out instruction, says Driscoll.
"They are aware of the times that they hurt others and are empathetic, and they don't want to cause pain or difficulty for others."
2. The Foolish
"The foolish person doesn't want to adjust to reality. Instead, they want reality to adjust to them," says Driscoll.
This type of personality wants everyone to work around them, and doesn't listen or learn. They won't take advice and will "shoot the messenger." The pastor points to Proverbs 9:8, paraphrasing that if you rebuke a foolish person they will hate you.
Driscoll adds that the foolish live by the flesh and push their responsibilities and burdens on others. They may not intend to be malicious, but still cause pain. "They need consequences to bring them to a point where they want to become wise and make some changes in their lives."
The pastor says that every family has foolish people, and even the wise can sometimes act foolishly. "Even people who are wise are not wise in every area of their life, so in areas and/or in seasons we can all be foolish."
"We want to have a little sympathy and empathy for those who are foolish, but we also want to encourage them by saying, "'I love you. I want to talk to you about this, but unless these things change there's going to be some consequences.'"
3. The Evil
Driscoll explains that evil people live by the demonic and just want to hurt others and cause harm. He says, "They are malicous, they are dangerous, they are unsafe people — they are harmful."
The evil cause pain malicously and deliberately. They are seeking out a way to hurt others. If individuals give evil people more of their time, energy, and resources they may enable them to engage in more plotting, more scheming and more pain.
If someone in an individual's life is evil, they must determine if they really want any interaction with them.
Driscoll surmizes, "You have to look at the people in your life around the holiday season, the people in your family, and say, 'Who's wise, who's foolish, who's evil?' And what I would say is if someone really is evil, you have to decide whether or not you want any activity with them."
He explains that simply because someone is family, if they have a history of physically harming others, or are unsafe, you don't have to spend time with them.
"You may need to have some real strong boundaries, or even a conversation that says, 'You know what? Unless things change, this relationship is going to have distance or is even going to be done.'"