I am in general peace-loving. Every time I take a personality test, I score high in agreeableness.
Agreeable people exhibit more altruistic behaviour. They are generally thoughtful of others, kind, friendly and generous in their behaviour, whilst people who score low in agreeableness may act more selfish at times, be distant, unfriendly and uncooperative.
Agreeable people do not like conflicts. They always try to avoid or try to find a peaceful solution to a conflict. If a conflict arises in a group, the agreeable ones will often act as a mediator of a group, attempting to reconcile and appease the two conflicting parties. Disagreeable people on the other hand are more argumentative and thus more likely to fight back to prove their point, even if it may lead to disharmony in the group.
On the surface you may think that an agreeable person is more Christian than a disagreeable person. I mean altruism versus selfishness, pretty straightforward right? Not exactly.
The dark side of an agreeable person
A peace-lover they maybe, but also surely a compromiser. Since an agreeable person is peace loving, they can behave in a way that is compromising to the will fo God when it comes to gossiping.
Yes, this comes from experience! I am not much of a gossiper myself (or at least I would like to think so),but being an agreeable person I always find myself in difficult situations when people gossip in front of me.
Whenever someone gossips, I have a hard time confronting it, even in a gentle manner! If I put it nicely it’s because “I am agreeable by nature”, but in reality, it’s my fear of men and my selfish desire to be loved by others. I noticed that disagreeable people are better in this sense in that they are more able to confront the gossiper or at least show that they are clearly unpleased with their gossiping.
Due to my lack of confrontation and the excellent concealing of my displeaseament, people find it very comfortable to gossip in front of me as they feel safe and know that I will hear them out. In one sense I am encouraging gossip, even though I have never technically taken part it in. I am also endorsing the gossip that is blabbed in front of me as I am just dancing along to their gossip by trying to just pass away their gossip.
Even to this day, after much practice, I still find it very hard to directly confront a gossip when it happens right in front of me. I would want to do it in a wise manner, with gentleness and humbleness, but I still find it very hard to speak against it at all.
My solution? I try to at least show that I am unpleased with their gossip, whether it is through my awkward silent smile, or by purposely frowning a bit to show that I am not comfortable. I sympathize with all my agreeable people out there, I know that even this will be hard, but just try to remember that it is out of a selfish fear of men and self-preservation that we are so hesitant to confront gossip.
At the end of the day, we have zero strength to overcome this difficulty. We must depend on Christ and constantly ask for strength and courage to overcome our love of self. Jesus could have been perceived by those around him as somewhat disagreeable at times. I mean think about it, he did get a whip and drove out all those merchants that were doing business in the temple!
With the whip of the Holy Spirit, we too must likewise drive out our sinful tendencies in us! We must not take comfort and say, “Oh at least I am not gossiping in my heart”, but rather repent at the fact that we are passively endorsing their gossips.
Take courage and twitch those muscle fibers near your eye brows!
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves the Lord.