Personality Problems

May 31, 2017

One of the biggest trends over the last century or so has been the uptick in research into personality. I'm not sure if it's because we enjoy labels or if we're on a collective journey to self-discovery, but over the last sixty years especially we've created an abundance of personality tests and profiles. While I was in seminary, I took a number of them: DISC, FIRO-B, MBTI, LSI . . . alphabet soup, anyone? There are far more than those, too: enneagrams, Strength Finder, and on and on and on. Each of them is designed to get inside one's head and find out what makes us tick, to be able to describe who we really are and thus know ourselves even better.

 

It becomes easy, however, to stereotype people based on their results. For example (and in another bowl of alphabet soup), My MBTI type is INTJ, meaning I am introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging (as opposed to extroverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving). Altogether, my personality type comprises a whopping 2% of the population, and famous real and fictional INTJs include Sir Isaac Newton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Wayne, Severus Snape, Dr. Greg House, and Professor Moriarty. We're not exactly known for ministry -- in fact, out of the sixteen types of that particular assessment, we're the least likely to believe in God at all. 

 

And yet here I am. The labels don't define me, don't limit me to who they say I am -- nor do they you. Who we are is who God made us to be, and He will always equip us for whatever task He has in store for us. As the saying goes, God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called. If God is truly calling you to do something in His service, don't let anyone stand in your way. Don't let people look at the test results and decide you're just not fit for it. Rely on God, let Him shape you through the Holy Spirit into who He wants you to be -- and do everything you can to be a good servant in the name of Christ Jesus who died for us.

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