Understanding Your Personality and Mindset - Lesson 13

Adapting Traditional Beliefs to a Changing World

In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the traditional mindset, which is characterized by a strong internal moral compass, structure, and conformity. You will explore the challenges and stress factors associated with this mindset, such as inflexibility, judgmental tendencies, and difficulty adapting to change. You will also learn how to engage with individuals who possess a traditional mindset, by listening and asking questions, and working together for a common goal. Finally, you will examine the implications of different traditional mindset scores, and how to balance the strengths and weaknesses of this mindset in various situations.
Chuck Coker
Understanding Your Personality and Mindset
Lesson 13
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Adapting Traditional Beliefs to a Changing World

Adapting Traditional Beliefs to a Changing World

I. Introduction to the Traditional Mindset

A. Definition and importance

B. Relationship with religious beliefs

II. Characteristics of the Traditional Mindset

A. Structure and conformity

B. Strong internal moral compass

C. Resistance to change

III. Challenges and Stress Factors

A. Inflexibility and judgmental tendencies

B. Impact on relationships and communication

IV. Engaging with the Traditional Mindset

A. Listening and asking questions

B. Working together for a common goal

V. Traditional Mindset Scores

A. Interpretation and implications

B. Balancing strengths and weaknesses

Class Resources
  • By studying this lesson, you'll learn the foundations of personality and mindset, explore major personality theories, understand the impact of mindset on personality, and apply this knowledge to improve self-awareness, relationships, and career satisfaction.
  • Through this lesson, you'll explore personality theories and mindset concepts, gaining insights on how to develop a growth mindset to positively impact your personality and overall well-being.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into personality theories, differentiate fixed and growth mindsets, and learn strategies to develop a growth mindset, fostering self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the major personality theories and the role of mindset in personal growth, leading to improved resilience, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Learn about personality theories and the impact of fixed and growth mindsets on behavior, while acquiring strategies to cultivate a positive mindset for personal and professional success.
  • Through this lesson, you explore various personality theories and learn to navigate between fixed and growth mindsets, enabling you to enhance your personal and professional life.
  • This lesson teaches the significance of mindsets in ministry work, discussing how they adapt to different environments and help with spiritual growth. It covers three types of mindsets—objective, subjective, and belief—and emphasizes that there is no direct correlation between behaviors and mindsets.
  • You will learn about different mindsets and how they impact people's approach to tasks and interactions, particularly the objective mindset, which focuses on learning and effectiveness and values quality over quantity in ministry settings, while understanding these mindsets can improve communication and collaboration.
  • Understanding the utilitarian mindset can help you maximize their strengths in ministry work, as they focus on practicality, efficiency, and achieving tangible results, while also addressing their spiritual needs and potential weaknesses, such as overlooking details and people's needs.
  • This lesson delves into the subjective, esthetic mindset, highlighting their emotional responsiveness, creativity, sensitivity to the environment, and expression. You will learn effective communication strategies, the challenges they face in relationships, and how to utilize their abilities in a church setting, ultimately gaining a comprehensive understanding of this prevalent mindset.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the social mindset's role and challenges in the church and ministry, learning to recognize and support individuals with this mindset while maintaining a balance between self-care and caring for others to ensure a healthy and effective ministry.
  • This lesson delves into the individualistic belief mindset, exploring its characteristics, challenges, and roles in the church, while offering guidance on effectively communicating with these individuals and fostering their personal growth.
  • This lesson explores the traditional mindset, its characteristics, challenges, and how to effectively engage with those who possess it, as well as the implications of various traditional mindset scores, ultimately helping you understand and navigate relationships with individuals who hold strong convictions and beliefs.
  • Gain insight into the importance of mindsets over behaviors, assess your thinking style and strengths, identify service opportunities based on personal preferences, and learn to better connect with others by understanding their hobbies and interests to effectively share the gospel.
  • Gain insight into your own mindsets and how they fit with others, reflect on your personal history, and enhance your emotional intelligence to build meaningful relationships through understanding yourself and others.

In this course, you will gain knowledge and insights into personality and mindset. You will learn about the different personality theories, including psychoanalytic, trait, humanistic, and social-cognitive theory. You will also explore the two main mindset theories: fixed mindset and growth mindset. By the end of this class, you will have a better understanding of the importance of understanding personality and mindset and how to apply this knowledge to personal and leadership development, team building, and conflict resolution.

Dr. Chuck Coker
Understanding Your Personality and Mindset
Adapting Traditional Beliefs to a Changing World
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] We're in our final mindset now, and that is the traditional mindset. And I got to believe that the first question is why do we call it traditional? Well, Jesus had something to say about the traditions of the elders. Paul had something to say about the tradition of the elders. But we have to remember that the Jews were the repository, the historical accounts of God's Word and his promises. So in phase one, when it didn't work for God to interact directly with man, Adam and Eve, then he put these laws, edicts and traditions down and writing for Moses to communicate. And then what did we do? Oh, well, God needs to be explained. So the Talmud, the Mishnah the Gemara and all of these other writings emerged and caused people to begin to wonder about what's really right and what's really wrong and what should be tradition and what isn't. So as we begin to think about that, I think it's important for us to remember that, yes, tradition can be a heavy handed word and it can be something that we push back on because we're not like our parents and we're not like our grandparents and we're not like the generation before or the generations that preceded us. But there is something that is consistent and that is the tradition of God, the tradition of love, the tradition of sacrifice, and the tradition of becoming holy through the process of sanctification. And with that concept of tradition there are certain things that should govern and rule our lives. Yet some of us adhere more to the structure than we do being more open. So as we begin to discuss the traditional belief mindset, it doesn't just mean the old and not adaptive to new ways. It means driven by the structure of the Scripture and how the world should operate. 

[00:02:47] You see, some people take their writings, the military takes the universal code of Military Justice, the Police League, the police laws, the firemen's, their laws, the Muslims, theirs, the Hindus, theirs. But a tradition can either cause us to conform to the likeness or God, or keep us away from that likeness. And just because we have a high traditional does not mean that we are wholly focused on God. So what I want us to see the traditional is, that it is a desire for structure and conformity of our way of thinking or a tradition. That will help us achieve the objectives of the purpose that God created us for, because when we focus on that, we begin to solve problems by relying on God's time honored principles. The stronger the traditional, the more structured that thinker is, the more they understand doctrine. They're not easily swayed. Like the Bible says, don't be swayed like the waves of the ocean. 

[00:04:06] We derive our values from something outside of ourselves rather than our own personal opinions. So with the traditional mindset, we know that a person is driven by an internal moral compass, by the rules, the Scripture, the experience, and the structure that God has brought into his life through the Holy Spirit, the Scripture, circumstances, and people's input and direction that have been ordered as He orders our steps. The high traditional would be quick to share their beliefs and their values because they want to make them appear that they are solutions that other people should embrace and that you will be convicted once you understand that because the Holy Spirit's behind it and he's doing the actual conviction. 

[00:05:11] And just because someone has a lower traditional value does not mean that they are open to all variations in their beliefs. It probably just means that they're open to a wide diversity of people. And I have seen pastors with traditional values very, very low. Why? Because they have a very, very diverse congregation and they have to be open to all different kinds of people. They communicate with we versus they mentality. And, you know, the Jews did that. Gentiles and the goyim. In other words, it means non non-Jew more than anything else, everybody but the Jew. So. They are going to communicate this is the right way and that is what is unacceptable because they want you to grow in the beliefs that have convicted them and develop that moral compass for their mind.

[00:06:25] Let me give you an example. When I grew up, you went to church every time the doors were open. Today you become a Bible study rat and you head for every single Bible study that goes. If you don't do that, you're involved in a parachurch ministry. And all of that is good. There's nothing wrong with any of that. But if we become so separated, we become no earthly good to the people that need to hear the gospel. And so getting into that fixed mindset of only doing things with believers only can actually keep us from fulfilling our purpose. 

[00:07:15] So the low traditional is not sure about going to church because it may not be that important because they're open to a wide range of people, beliefs and types of ministry. I know some people right now that since COVID hit. They're struggling to find a church. And you know what? I understand why. Because during this time, the evolution of what people believe is kind of scary. Did you know that 50 years ago, almost 70% of the United States population committed to being a Christian? Today, 43% associate with Christ. That's a 27% drop in 50 years. Half a percent every year of our population is moving away from that. There's some times when we have to be resistant to change and maintain our belief systems in what the Bible says and what the Spirit is telling us to do. Because there may be disparaging things because everybody wants to be what's popular now, and change can literally pull us away from the security that the Bible and the Holy Spirit actually give us. 

[00:09:06] So what I want us to think about is when we talk about that traditional mindset, is there a work ethic? Are our external moral principles strong regardless of whether it's politically or socially correct. Are we committed? Are we reliable? Can God use us when and wherever he calls us to?

Speaker 1: [00:09:40] But these traditional people also have stress factors. When things change and they try to innovate Christianity to be something a little bit different than it was to our church fathers and to the apostles. That's a stress factor. For example, car mechanics have to come and change as vehicles change. But the Bible says very plainly that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And while the world may change and car mechanics need to do things a little bit differently than they did in the past, the Spirit of God remains the same. So we may seem closed minded, we may seem inflexible, we may seem judgmental, and we even may be seen as legalistic at times especially those that are very high on the traditional scale. But it doesn't mean we can't disengage from that criticism. We have to be able to move on.


[00:11:12] So how do we actually hear a high traditional? How should you listen when you speak with high conviction and other people don't agree? Well, I think the important thing for us to remember is the fact that rather than pounding something, we begin to ask questions that lead us back. And remember what the Scripture says, don't worry about what you're going to say, because the Spirit's going to give you the words that you need to say for that circumstance. You see their conviction doesn't necessarily have to be good or bad. It is simply a reflection of who they are. Don't make a statement. Ask a question with sincerity so that you can move forward and become all things to all people for the Gospel. 

[00:12:14] You see tradition in churches is that we have leaders that are there to bring conversion by preaching the gospel. They're there to surround themselves with people of the same passion that are equally committed. Now, what do we know about that? It creates denominations. You've heard the old expression, birds of a feather flock together? And what does the Bible say about that? Let's not argue. Amongst ourselves. Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe he's the Son of God? Do you believe that he ascended to the right hand of God after dying on the cross and being raised from the dead on the third day? If you got that right then you're in a position, when the disciples came to Jesus and said, Lord, these people are healing in your name and they're not part of us. And what was his response? If he's not against us, he's for us. So let's make sure that we don't deviate. Let's make sure that we stay on track with our beliefs and the direction that we are going. 

[00:13:42] Now, how can you work with a traditional mindset? First thing is just point them to something that they can do and show them the why. Appeal to their integrity. And if they have none, you're going to find that out very quickly. But when there is a need to change, give them the reasons that are tied to their belief system. And remember the example of changing a discipleship church to an evangelistic church. Because some churches, all they want to do is stay in their in their hole, doing what they're doing, discipling their people, and they don't care about the world that is perishing and going to away. But what does God call us to do in Matthew 28:19? You all know the Great Commission. Mathusete. Make Disciples. Whether that's in your church or outside your church. 

[00:14:56] So now that we know a little bit about the traditional mindset let's look and see what the scores actually mean so that you have a better understanding of where you fall in this particular area. So if you're scores are 55 to 70, you have a very strong established belief system for making the world a better place and furthering your cause. But also remember, you can tend to be legalistic at times, and you can tend to be doing things that may actually turn people off rather than draw them to Christ. From 41 to 54, you have a strong belief system that you see as an answer to the problems that many people face. Then the next two categories of 21 to 40, you're open to sharing your beliefs, but you don't normally offer them because it's more of a situational perspective, because you want to at least listen to other people's views so that you can interject yours. But when you're in that low area of 11 to 20 or 1 to 10, you may not have a lot of fixed beliefs. And you may be hesitant to express them because you don't want to turn people off. On the other hand, it may also mean that you are open to communicating with other people that have different beliefs and you're willing to listen in order to get your message in there. 

[00:16:47] So what is power to a high traditional? And that's understanding your calling and integrating it into your higher purpose because your passion is to pursue the divine and understand the totality of life. But remember, you can exceed your limits when you try to put God in a box or become become closed minded or judgmental. That can cause stress, especially if things are too innovative and other people approach oppose those beliefs. So how do you get your point across? You focus on how the plan improves you and the world and those in it. You're obviously going to find these people in ministry areas or areas that promote the moral code or system that they are in.They are just trying to pursue the highest meaning of life, because their goal is to search for and find the highest value in the greatest system of living.

[00:18:05] Now we need these traditional people, obviously, because their resources or passion for understanding God's mindset. They have a high spiritual and doctrinal standard and they're unwilling to compromise under most circumstance if they have a belief conflict. But there are also some liabilities because they can be inflexible and not listen to things just because that's not what they learned earlier. And they can be close minded to real revelation that God is bringing about during this time. And they may be willing to break the law if it conflicts with biblical principles. We don't need people bombing abortion clinics.

[00:19:03] How they want to work and live is by converting others to the faith. They want to surround themselves with people. That are like-minded and help others understand the impact and implication of God's divine plan for mankind and those who will listen. But they also are going to have to adapt and remember that freedom and receptiveness to the Spirit of God in his kingdom is different in daily circumstances. That's why the Bible says very plainly, If you believe something is a sin, it is. And that requires us loving the others by meeting their needs, not just what we think they need. If you see someone starving, you can tell them, you need Jesus. And that's all well and good, but if they die starving, you haven't accomplished your mission. Because our focus needs to be on other people's needs, not just the doctrines that are there. 

[00:20:21] So let's summarize our key points to remember. Our goal as high traditionals is to help others through structured, time honored principles that conform. To the principles of Christ and our way of living. Those are driven by that external moral compass that God has given us and causes us to share our values and push back against heresy. A high traditional will enjoy deepening their beliefs because it keeps them focused. And a rewarding ministry to them allows them to communicate their beliefs with conviction and communicate with an appeal to integrity. So when we communicate with the traditional minded people, we tell them what they can do, appealing to their integrity. 

[00:21:32] And I know that probably invokes a question or two. What do you have for me?

[00:21:39] What are some practical ways that we can have conversations about honoring tradition and communicating the gospel in the context of current issues and dialog in society? Because human nature stays the same and the gospel stays the same but the issues change, technology changes, language changes, and the issues sometimes are are different. So what are some practical ways to have conversations that that respect tradition and yet take into account the changing context of society that we find ourselves in?

[00:22:39] Hmm. That's an excellent question, because our world is changing at an unbelievably rapid pace. Nothing is the same as it was several years ago. But Solomon said something that I think was extremely important. And that was the fact that there's nothing new under the sun. What did he mean by that? People's ideas and concepts are really just something borrowed from the past. And because they're borrowed from the past. Are they really new? Are they really innovative and are they really going to help us? So the thing that I would say is going back to Solomon, the best the man can hope for is to enjoy his work, which is a form of worship, and eat and drink and enjoy those he loves. So when I think about a non-offensive way to talk to a person, I think the important thing to remind them of is, yes, society has changed. But has God changed? And if you believe God has changed, is he perfect? Because would he have created something that was perfect, and he said it was good if he meant to change the process as we went down the line? So the way that people think has not changed. And people are always guilty including myself and everyone else I know of having their biases and their rationalization of how things ought to be. Bias and rationalization is what causes a person to have voices in their head that aren't good voices. When we think about the fact of how to differentiate and separate those voices, we only have to go to First Corinthians 13. Is the voice we hear speaking to us in faith, hope or love? If it's not speaking to us in faith, hope or love, it's the wrong Spirit. Well, I don't believe in spirits. Well, do you believe in the wind? When was the last time you saw the wind? You saw the aftermath of the wind. When was the last time you saw the energy coming from the sun that gave you a sunburn? Just because something is unseen and just because we as men tend to rationalize it doesn't make it true. Things don't change in God's economy. And as an individual, we can't rationalize or put gods and. God words in God's mouth or try to put him in a box. When we do, we're always disappointed. So I hope that answers your question.

Speaker 2: [00:26:41] But the key I think is understanding that the weather has always been there, the song has always been there, even though we have changed our society and we have gotten smarter and more sophisticated. But the truth is, is that some things don't change in his Word, and his promises will endure forever. 

[00:27:17] When we have conversations about traditional views of scripture and how to apply them. How do we do it in a way that we respect each other so that the important thing is our relationship with people, not necessarily the point of view that we end up with. I mean, there needs to be some sort of of boundary where there are things that are non-negotiable about what Scripture says. But there are some places where how we live out what we believe, there's some latitude within Scripture to do that in a way that still brings people to the Lord. So how do we have those conversations where we show people that we care about them more than just specific doctrines? 

[00:28:22] That's an excellent question, because it's one with the divisiveness so prevalent in our society. We have to be acutely aware of and we have to approach it from a perspective that will engage the person. There's an old phrase that's been around for many decades, and I know you've all heard it before, but I won't use it anyway, I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care. Well, that makes an awful lot of sense if we go to one of John's epistles, and we hear the fact that the disciples will be known for their love. Love is an expression of caring. Love is the only way that people know that we are ready to invest in them personally, professionally, spiritually, mentally or however you want. So how do they know we love? Because we're willing to listen to them. We're willing to give them unconditional love, and we're willing to help them with not just mental or spiritual needs, but we're also willing to help them with their physical needs. Each of those express a form of love. And until the person hears our questions, how can I help you? What can I do for you? How can I invest in you? What are the things that we need to do to get you to a place to where things are providing you with less pressure? They're not going to know you care. 

[00:30:31] So my answer to that would be ask them the questions that display your love. Give them the signs of displaying love, some of which may not be doctrinal theology. But when we do that, they will hear us. They will see us. And at some point they will believe.