The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
The greatest determinant of relationship among men is character. Oxford Advanced Dictionary defines character as “all the qualities and features that make a person, groups of people, and places different from others”. While Merriam Webster defines it as “the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves: someone’s personality”. From these, we can conclude that the character of a man is those features that distinguish him from other creatures; the manners of his thinking, feelings and behavior in relation to himself and his environment.
It is impossible to separate a man from who he is. He is not a machine and cannot be operated as such. Man is a complex being with many factors responsible for and influencing his behavior. Man is a spirit, having a soul and dwelling in a body. He is not as simple as he appears! His heart, which is the nucleus of his being, is deep and complex. Man is complex in his genetic makeup; he is complex in his mind and character. It takes only the Maker of man to fully understand him!
Among the things that influence the behavior of man, these four are predominant:
- His human nature
- His personal temperament
- His human and non-human environment
- His relationship with God
What is seeing in any man is a blend of all these factors among others.
Every man is a man; even men of God are men! There are certain things which are common to all men. For example:
- All men eat and will not feel okay when they are hungry.
- All men get angry when confronted with unpleasant things and situations. Actions and reactions in anger may differ, but all men get angry.
- All men want to escape danger. Safety is a priority for all men. They want to be as far from danger as possible.
- All men are sexually active. Ability to tame sexual urge may differ but all men have that thing in them that respond to sexual stimulation.
- All men have fear; they are afraid when confronted by things and issues beyond them.
- All men are defensive; they all want to fight back when pushed to the wall.
- All men are self-loving. No man hates himself. Even those who commit suicide do so in self-love!
- All men are emotional; they weep when they are sad and they laugh when they are happy.
- All men love pleasure. They all want to be comfortable.
- The list goes on; all because they are men. Men are men; they are not God and they are not angels.
The beginning of frustration in relationship is to expect the character of angels from men. In all your dealings with man, always remember that he is a man and not God; even that man of God!
Man is also a carrier of character traits which he has inherited from his forebears. He is a complex bundle of good and bad in his temperamental makeup. No man is totally bad and none is totally flawless. The more God has His way in a man, the less he manifest the bad sides of his humanity; his temperament. The more a man releases himself to God, the more modified his temperamental flaws become. This was what Apostle Paul was talking about when he said, “I die daily” (1 Cor 15:31).
Man is also a product of his nurture. There are so many things that rubbed on him from the environment where he grew. He has developed so many prejudices and sentiments from what he considered to be norms; those things he is used to as he grew. Many things have become part and parcel of him from the influence of his environments. To assume that those things will drop off in a day is to swim in the ocean of deception!
So, there are many reasons why man behaves the way he does!
Those who seek to relate with man must understand man. Failure to do this leads to heart breaks, gross disappointments and needless frustrations. The more you are educated in the science of human behavior, the better you are able to cope with the complexities of man. The less you understand about man and the intricacy of his behavior the more you will find it difficult to relate with man.
Correct education on human behavior starts with understanding yourself. If you do not understand who you are, you can never be at your best in understanding and relating with others.
May the Spirit of God possess us fully as we yield ourselves continually unto Him in Jesus name.
May our lives be true reflections of our Maker in Jesus name.
Have a lovely day!