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I had the wonderful privilege of being the recipient of a major trove of marvelous old books from a pastor’s library.  His widow saw to it that I received the gems.  I am most grateful. The few I already had have gone to the eager young theology students on our campus.  They cannot believe their good fortune and rightly so.  Many of them are long out of print and will enhance their future ministries.  Right now I am sitting here with one published in 1915.   My parents were both four years old when this book was printed.   It’s called Personality – How to Build it.    It’s a really good read.  While culturally dated the basic ideas have not changed.

Some people seem to think the personality we have is basically who we are and nothing much can be done about that.  Nothing could be more wrong.  Cranky people don’t have to be cranky.  It’s a choice.  Oh, I understand that the older we get the more aches and pains we have and that makes us want to be cranky.  But crankiness is still a choice.  Sometimes because we are old we think we can be rude and get away with it because what can people do about our rudeness.  They can’t fire us if we are retired.  In my case I have tenure.  That makes it very tough to get rid of me.  In order to do that they would have to push me in front of a moving truck.

However, personality is not something we are born with.   Personality is the face that we wear for loved ones, not so loved ones and strangers.  If we want to really be Christians and really want to be like our hero Jesus, rudeness and crankiness should be left in the outhouse.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 8, 2010

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574