Personality Traffic Light
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23. Personality Traffic Light

Behavior Patterns

Personality Traffic LightThe personality traffic light illuminates the adult, child, and parent natures in all of us. When you begin a conversation with somebody, you can be sure that they need what you have to give. Their goal to obtain as much information and satisfaction as possible from you. Transactional theory on the personality traffic light explains individual acts following a system of feelings accompanied by a related set of behavior patterns. The feelings and behavior patterns combined are called "ego states." Three headings sum up this teaching:
ADULT - Objective appraisals of reality
CHILD - responses fixed in early childhood
PARENT - Those responses parental in nature.
Your complete being is governed by a personality traffic light.

The PARENT, like the red traffic light, tends to say, "Stop! You were taught that..."

The middle amber light representative of the ADULT asks the question, "Are you ready?"

The green light in the personality traffic light is for the CHILD who wants to "Go Go Go"

The God element encloses the Christian personality. All his or her feelings and behavior patterns are influenced by his or her relationship with God. The Christian's role is to introduce Christ as a new element in a person's life to increase their satisfaction still more! Saint Paul's expressed this clearly in his words in Romans 12.2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Spinal Cord

Mother and ChildThe great reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546), like the Martyr Polycarp (69-155 AD), before him was urged to stand firm and 'play the man.' As a result, he felt his spinal cord stroked. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and an important figure in the Protestant Reformation. But Luther had one need in common with all of us. We need each other whether we like to or not. Two people need to talk to one another, for their well-being no matter how hard that may seem. We need to socialize, share, encourage, and build up one another up by exchange. 'If you are not stroked, your spinal cord will shrivel up!'" This means that if you are not encouraged, you will not be able to stand firm!

Encourage One Another

Reformer Martin LutherIn the early days of the Protestant Reformation, the Reformer Martin Luther was summoned to the city of Worms in the Rhineland to debate with the all-powerful and much-feared leaders of the Roman Church hierarchy. Martin set out in crowded streets, but the multitudes were silent. The leader of the new faith pressed steadily, almost stonily on through the people. Suddenly a voice, clear as a bell, rang through the air. "Luther, play the man. Luther, play the man. Fear not death. It can but slay the body. There is life beyond." In a moment, Martin straightened up renewed and encouraged. The martyr Polycarp (c69-155 AD), who was an Apostolic Father in the second century, faced martyrdom for his faith and was similarly renewed at the point of his greatest need. His spinal cord was stroked, and he received the courage he needed! Even so, he was bound up and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire amazingly failed to touch him. We, too, need to be encouraged as Christians to "play the man!"✞

"Personality Traffic Light"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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