I began reading a book titled "Personalities in Love" (free Kindle offer in Feb) and found myself in tears.
Michael looked over and said, "What?"
"I don't know WHAT I am!!!" :::sob:: ::sniff::
"Does this matter?"
"YES! How could you marry me if you don't know what I am." ::wail:: ::gasp::
"You are a child of God, you reflect His image which contains all the personality types."
"No, that's not it!"
To his credit the man didn't laugh and he did stay up late to conclude the conversation. As I move into more leadership roles I've been asked what animal I am, what personality I am, what my strengths are,
what letters describe me (ISTJ or whatever), what love language I speak....and I've never paid much attention to all these tests.....
And then there are spiritual gifts...I HAVE taken quite a few of those in Bible college and to get licensed....so I know that one.....Shepherd/Teacher/Discernment/Encourager....but all these labels distressed me.
Until I realized really Michael's observations have some measure of truth. It's OK to be an extrovert...I mean seriously....God CAN smooth out the rough areas and use the zeal for His glory. It's o.k. to have strengths others may see as faults..... and so now I know.
I'm an extrovert.
I'm an otter/lion.
I have strengths which have sometimes been labeled as faults: futuristic, activator, belief, individualistic, positivity and a touch of achiever. It's a strength that I can see how to start things.....not necessarily a weakness that others have to finish many of the projects I start - that's called mentoring. I'm a great mentor - because I LOVE to work WITH people....and so it works.
The thing is I had others TELLING me I was this or that which I am simply not. Does it matter? Could. I have seen, for instance those "negative" lion characteristics, have been softened by the Holy Spirit as the fruit of the spirit begin to be more evident in my life. Still it's good to know I tend to be relational and some on my team are not. It helps me to know this about them and about myself. It helps me understand WHY they approach things in a way that perplexes me....and why they have trouble at times understanding ME.
And in real life? This journey has provided fun for my family. Understanding for all of us....and really I finally GET why my family sometimes is irritated with me, sometimes amused by me, sometimes perplexed by me....we've discovered I'm an extrovert and most of them are introverts or introverts with a touch of extrovert.
I'm thinking of this as last night around the dinner table my wackiness was a topic of conversation.
I got so distracted with a toddler in the line at the commissary I forgot I was supposed to be shopping and when it was my turn to check out had to go finish my list. Cracked Arielle and I up.
Arielle confessed she likes to see who I will talk to next when out with me and finds it funny that often I have no clue how I know the person. I let her in on the secret that some of my best friendships have come from me talking to folks I mistakenly THOUGHT I knew and DIDN'T ...only the brave stick with you after that sort of introduction.
"Your extroverted tendencies seem to be coming out more as you age!" Um....Michael...not nice to mention the "a" word...don't you know I'm a "delightful widow with a happy and healthy demeanor?"
Bottom line? Each of us ARE created in the image of God. We SHOULD have a touch of many different labels in our life. No label is an excuse to not grow, mature, make an effort to be understanding or exhibit the fruit of the spirit. None. The rule of love supersedes natural bent....but it does provide helpful perspective from time to time when dealing with others to have an inkling into those things...
"Ah, she's a just-the-facts type and doesn't realize how rude that sounds." (strategic, learner)
"Oh, he just needs to get the job done and he'll worry about the warm fuzzies later." (achiever, responsibility)
"She NEEDS me to touch her to feel love." (touch)
"He's saying he loves me when he bans me from winter driving." (acts of service)
"Sitting here and doing nothing communicate loves." (time)
It helps us treat each other with understanding and love when we understand each other a bit clearer. BTW - it's NOT NICE to call extroverts flakes. We may not think as deeply as introverts, but we're invaluable for communicating your thoughts to others and motivating a team to get er done. ::snort::
And that toddler was a DOLL!!!!
Living all of life before the face of God...