Adult Personality Reaction
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25. Adult Personality Reaction

Personality Traffic Light

Traffic LightA personality traffic light is one way of understanding how human beings react to each other. The traffic light contains three elements. They describe us and our response as a parent, an adult, or a child and show our reaction to other people and our circumstances. Let us consider this built-in human reaction which is not always evident to us. The adult personality reaction is necessary for survival as it processes data and computes the information essential for dealing effectively with the outside world. For example, when you try to cross a busy highway, your adult reaction comes to bear upon that situation. Your mind automatically estimates the speed and distance of the cars approaching you from several directions. You hesitate until you are sure that you can make it safely to the other side. In conversation, this adult personality reaction also comes to the surface. If someone asks you a question or makes a statement to you, your mind prompts you with the facts from other experiences you may have had. Therefore, you accept, deny or do not react to the new statement on the original message's logical correctness or otherwise in your eyes.

Samaritan Woman's Reaction

Jesus and the Samaritan WomanThe Samaritan woman's reaction to Jesus at the well is an excellent example of the adult response in the Personality Traffic Light model. A perfect example of an "adult" response in the Personality Traffic Light occurs in the Samaritan woman's reaction to Jesus. When Jesus met the woman of Samaria at the well, who the Early Church later identified as Saint Photine, he prompted her in John 4.10 with, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman's reaction and logical "Adult" response came into play and the only logical answer that she could see was that he was talking about the water in the deep well in front of them. Therefore, she answered, "You don't have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where would you get that life-giving water?" She drew this practical and logical answer from her "adult" response.

Is God Real?

In the same way, a Christian can endeavor to lead a person to faith in Jesus Christ via a series of questions such as, "Is God real in your life?" "Why did Jesus die upon the cross?" and "What does this Bible verse tell you about God's love?" Some people do not respond through a mental "adult" reaction but rather an emotional "child" one. The child's response is not in any way childish, but one made at the emotional level. A Christian might, therefore, want to take a different reaction to the "child" answer.

"Adult Personality Reaction"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2021

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