Caring for the Soul

August 26, 2010

Character vs. Personality

I was recently asked to explain the difference between character and personality and if God can change either. The following was my response.

First of all of course there is a difference between character and personality – this is why they are called with different terms and the person who uses them interchangeable does not really understand the terms. Character cannot include personality, but personality must include the capacities of character and not be limited by them.

Personality is deeper than character. It is the innate characteristic of an individual which makes him/her unique and subjective. So this is the way God made you like you were saying. But some theories say that personality can actually be changed over time this is why people go to psychotherapy and of course your character can change (honesty, enthusiasm, etc, being shaped by your individual experiences- VERY IMPORTANT). And this is very interesting that there are two factors for “personality change”: 1) Major personality change involves some sort of intense affective or feeling process occurring in the individual and 2) Major personality change occurs nearly always in the context of an ongoing personal relationship. Hum, does this sound familiar? Another interesting point which some theories suggest is that “Sometimes personality degenerates into character, or character matures into personality in the same person”. But if you really think about it, God can do whatever he wants and he can change both character and/or personality if he chooses and to say He can’t would be limiting His Omnipotency. I hope you find this helpful.

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