A few weeks ago I started looking into different personality theories. I heard some big time speaker say something about it on a TED talk and it really made him sound pretty smart. So, naturally I went and started looking into it so that I could sound smart too. Basically, what I found is that a personality theory is a fancy sociological term for “why people do the things they do”. Most of the big-time research was done by a very decorated psychologist named Freud. He spent years analyzing people and their actions, and what he deduced was that the human race is run on one main factor, sex. I don’t know about you, but I personally think that’s very arbitrary, even insulting. Another psychologist concluded that it was all about power, whoever was at the top of the ladder would win some sort of prize when he reached the end of his life. I can’t really speak for the entirety of humanity, but I know that at this point in my life, I am not making my decisions based on sex and power. That got me to thinking though, why do I do the things I do?
Reflecting on that question, I realized that the only reason I began this research was so that I could sound smart in conversation. Come to think of it, most of the things I do are an attempt to impress others. Sports, grades, clothes, there is a common mindset in these decisions, and I wanted to know why. This lingering question began to prod at my faith, so I decided to open up my bible and see if God had answered my question already. However, I didn’t know where to look because there isn’t really an index in the bible. So, I decided to start at the beginning. What I found in the first few pages of Genesis not only redefined my faith, but gave me an answer to my permeating question.
Why people do the things they do: by Hank Puckett
God started with a plan for humanity, we were going to live in this perfect garden with him and everything we needed would be given to us through him. Our joy, peace, fulfillment, happiness, sense of belonging were all going to be present as long as we had this direct relationship with God. Then the first humans did the one thing God told them not to do, and that direct relationship was broken. We started looking for our fulfillment elsewhere, and we tried everything. Food, clothes, sports, jobs, but everything we were trying to use to fill the void between God and us had only been pushing us further away. A car that is meant to run on gasoline isn’t going to run on Kool-Aid, so why do we keep trying. Money will disappear, sports won’t be there forever, and grades aren’t your identity. I’m not saying that all these things are terrible, I simply mean to imply that they shouldn’t be your identity, they shouldn’t be your “why you do the things you do”. Pursue the world, and you will only be sold short, but pursue God, and receive everything that we were meant to have.