Good and Bad News: Biblical concept of personality development

We get used to the idea that positive changes in a person can happen only as minor modifications, with defects remaining anyway. There are many concepts of personality development (on becoming a person). Almost nobody strives with psychological measures to modify a human being toward being completely good, perfect. However, the Bible suggests this as a valid possibility.

The Holy Scripture sees the process of development, of becoming a person as a restoration (reconstruction, recreation) of perfect human nature, which was lost after the Fall1 or the process of sanctification. For simplicity let us illustrate this process with the means, which Jesus Christ used a lot, a story. This is a theological allegory, “Good and bad news”.

Tom was a terrible criminal. He was proud of not having any conscience, that he had committed every possible crime. Eventually he was caught. He was in prison and was worrying about what would happen next. He was thinking about escaping, even about suicide. But both were impossible. He was too well guarded. He was rehearsing different speeches denying his evil deeds, but none of them sounded persuasive enough. His future seemed absolutely dark. He was aware that he had gotten himself into a desperate situation.

Whom does the Bible consider a law-breaker, a sinner? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:25. It means this message applies to every one of us.

The only thing that prevents reaching perfection and sanctification is sin. What is sin?

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  1. Yancey Ph. Disappointment with God. Three Questions No One Asks Aloud. Harper Collins Publishers, 1988, 319 p. [-]