PSY-331-1AO71- Theories of Personality Read either Chapter 7: Show Love or Chapter 8: Be Trustworthy (Beck). Write a reflection paper that addresses the following questions: What ideas stood out to you? Why? Were they new or in opposition to your current views on the topic? What do you already know about the topic? Where did your existing knowledge come from? What are observations or experiences that shaped your understanding of the topic? Do you agree or disagree with the author’s argument? Why? How does this chapter challenge your existing ideas or assumptions? How does this chapter help you better understand a Christian application of personality?
Requirements: Minimum of 250 words; APA format
JESUS AND PERSONALITY THEORY: EXPLORING THE FIVE-FACTOR MODEL (PAPERBACK)
By Beck, James R.Edition : 99Publisher : INGRAMISBN 13 : 9780830819256
Chapter 7: Show Love from James R.E. Beck’s book “Jesus and Personality Theory: Exploring the Five-Factor Model” as it relates to Christian personality theory:
Personality theory seeks to understand the underlying factors that shape human behavior and interpersonal relationships. In recent decades, the Five-Factor Model has emerged as one of the dominant frameworks for conceptualizing personality (McCrae & Costa, 1987). This model proposes five broad traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism—that encompass more specific facets that influence an individual’s tendencies, preferences, and interactions. While providing a useful taxonomy, the Five-Factor Model was not designed to address spiritual or theological dimensions of human nature. Beck (1999) argues that incorporating a Christian perspective can enhance personality theory by illuminating how believers may develop the fruit of the spirit in their lives.
In Chapter 7, Beck focuses on the trait of agreeableness and its association with showing love towards others. He draws from biblical teachings on love and examines how cultivating agreeableness relates to living out God’s command to love one’s neighbor. This reflection will analyze key ideas from the chapter, consider how they align with or challenge existing views, and discuss implications for understanding a Christian application of personality.
Showing Love as Agreeableness
Beck (1999) proposes that agreeableness, as conceptualized in the Five-Factor Model, closely parallels the biblical call to show love. He notes that agreeable individuals tend to be compassionate, cooperative, and concerned with social harmony. They seek win-win solutions in conflicts and value getting along with others (p. 121). This aligns with Jesus’ teachings to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Matthew 22:39), to be kind and merciful (Luke 6:36), and to resolve disputes peaceably (Matthew 5:9). Beck argues that believers who develop agreeableness are cultivating the fruit of love in how they interact with and treat other people.
This perspective challenged my initial understanding of agreeableness. Prior to reading the chapter, I viewed it primarily as a preference for getting along rather than standing up for principles or causing offense. Beck’s application of agreeableness to biblical love shifted my view towards seeing it as an active virtue of caring for others’ well-being and meeting their needs, even at personal cost (1 John 3:16-18). I now recognize agreeableness not just as conflict avoidance but as a means of expressing compassion. This new lens helps me better evaluate my own tendencies in relationships and interpersonal conflicts.
Subtitle: Developing Agreeableness Through Prayer and Spiritual Practices
Beck notes that agreeableness, like other personality traits, has genetic and environmental influences but can still be developed through conscious effort (p. 123). He suggests that believers can cultivate agreeableness by regularly praying for and practicing love towards others, even when it is difficult (p. 124). This aligns with research finding that agreeableness increases the most through intentional behaviors rather than innate predispositions (Roberts et al., 2006). Spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, and serving others provide opportunities to strengthen compassionate tendencies through obedience to Christ’s commands (Mark 12:30-31). Regularly choosing agreeable responses, with God’s help, can reshape patterns of thinking and behaving over time (2 Corinthians 3:18).
While I believe loving others is important, I previously lacked understanding of how personality traits intersect with spiritual growth. Beck’s emphasis on prayer and spiritual practices as means of developing agreeableness has encouraged me to be more intentional about strengthening this aspect of my character. I now make it a daily habit to pray for God’s help in responding to others with patience, kindness, and care for their well-being rather than just my preferences. Early experiences attempting this practice have shown me areas for growth but also glimpses of positive change. I am grateful for the insights gained on how personality and spirituality interactively influence each other.
Subtitle: Agreeableness and Conflict in the Church
Beck also discusses implications of agreeableness for managing conflicts within the body of Christ (p. 125). He notes research linking very low agreeableness to greater likelihood of aggression, hostility, and interpersonal problems (Graziano et al., 2007). At the same time, extremely high agreeableness without appropriate assertiveness can enable abuse or fail to address important issues. Beck argues Christians must develop a “wise agreeableness” that pursues reconciliation through nonviolent communication and compromise while also taking stands for righteousness when needed (p. 126).
This perspective resonated with and expanded my existing views. Having witnessed unhealthy dynamics in past church contexts, I recognized the importance of balancing agreement and truth-telling. However, Beck’s concept of “wise agreeableness” provided a helpful framework for thinking about conflict navigation. Christians are called to unity through gentleness and respect (Ephesians 4:1-3) but must also at times lovingly yet firmly insist on doctrinal purity or condemn injustice (Galatians 2:11-14). Developing the type of agreeableness that seeks win-win solutions without compromising principles seems key to maintaining health in the body of Christ. This chapter helped me better understand how personality and spirituality intersect in navigating the complex realities of church life and community.
In summarizing key ideas from Chapter 7, this reflection sought to analyze how Beck’s perspective aligned with and challenged my existing views on personality theory from a Christian lens. His application of agreeableness to biblical commands of love expanded my understanding from a preference for conflict avoidance to an active virtue of caring for others. Discussing implications for developing agreeableness through prayer and spiritual practices as well as navigating conflicts in the church helped connect personality traits to spiritual growth. Overall, this chapter provided a useful framework for considering how believers can cultivate godly character strengths through obedience to Christ and interaction with His body.
Beck, J. R. (1999). Jesus and personality theory: Exploring the five-factor model. InterVarsity Press.
Graziano, W. G., Habashi, M. M., Sheese, B. E., & Tobin, R. M. (2007). Agreeableness, empathy, and helping research essay writing service: A person× situation perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(4), 583.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of personality and social psychology, 52(1), 81.
Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological bulletin, 132(1), 1.