by: Dr. Allen Domelle
2 Samuel 2:30
“And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel.”
When Saul died, there broke out a fierce battle between the men who followed Saul and the men who followed David. The battle was over which family was going to take the throne of Israel. The people knew that David was anointed king, but there were loyalists to Saul who were not going to let this happen. The result was that many people lost their lives, and the testimony of God’s people was harmed to the surrounding countries.
This problem is an every generation problem. People tend to focus on a man and follow him, and the result is that needless battles are fought and innocent people are hurt. The Christian is to stay focused on Jesus Christ. Personalities come and go, but Christ lives forever. I find that there are four dangers of personality-driven Christianity.
First, it leads people to live a faithless life. Following man is sight driven and not faith driven. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” The Christian will never please God until they walk by faith. When you allow yourself to be driven by personality, that personality dictates what you do. You must understand that a personality cannot answer prayer. The need to stay focused on Christ is imperative to the Christian’s existence.
Second, it always leads to hurt. When you look at this story, you see several people lost their lives because they were fighting over personalities. Though Christians may not go to actual battle, the fight over personalities always leads to hurt. They will be hurt when they discover the personality’s weaknesses, and they will be hurt by the evil attacks of other Christians. Let us always remember that no personality should ever be the issue; the issue is Jesus Christ.
Third, it hurts the cause of truth. These men were not fighting over truth; they were fighting over personalities. We are commanded in Jude 1:3 to “earnestly contend for the faith…” We are not commanded to contend for personalities, but for the faith. My friend, truth always suffers when we fight over personalities and make them our primary focus. You must be careful that you don’t let your admiration for a personality to get you focused on them instead of truth. Personality-driven Christianity will do anything, including hurting others, just to stay close to the personality; don’t let that be your drive.
Fourth, it keeps souls from being saved. All the energy you use to fight over a personality is wasted time that could be used to reach lost souls for Christ. Imagine how many more souls could be saved if we used the same passion and energy of fighting for personalities to try to win souls. One of the greatest reasons we must not be personality driven is because souls hang in the balance, and their eternal destiny cannot be settled for Heaven when they never hear the Gospel because of personality-driven battles.
If you stay focused on faith, you will never become a personality-driven Christian. Be careful not to get in battles over personalities and realize your focus should be on the faith. Keeping your focus on the faith and reaching lost souls will keep you from these dangers of personality-driven Christianity.