“Oh, I don’t like all that personality testing stuff. It just puts people in a box.” I’ve heard this before, many times, but for some reason when my friend said this recently it stuck in my “Selah” (pause and think about this) head space. So I’ve considered it.
I know many people hate all the temperament, learning style, personality labels but me, I love them.
I’m cleric, sanguine, controller, dominant, persuader, analytical, doer, auditory, activator, sensor, thinker, maximiser, second daughter, relator, Thomas, Labrador, eagle, red extrovert with a twist – whatever labels you’re handing out let me see them and I’ll tell you which one fits me without the test and be very accurate in my guess. During my adult life I have seen many different tests and have taken a number myself. I get excited when I can add another label.
Why do I love labels so much? One reason is because the more I study how God made me and you, the more unique I realise we are. The more I get to see how crafty He has been in putting us together in the perfect way to enable us to follow the plans and purpose He has for us.
For instance, me, I LOVE preaching, while you may die inside at the mere thought of getting up in front of people, but I bet some of you can do crazy hard stuff like play golf, figure out if the furniture will fit in this room or that if Train A leaves the station at 11am and Train B leaves at 11:15am…. We all have different skills and strengths, likes and loathings. We can all face the same situation but will react differently because we are so unique. I love that!
The other reason I love being boxed so much is that I don’t see it as a box. I have learnt to let the “labels” be bricks that build clear boundaries to define who I am and who I am not, what I can and can’t do, what I will and won’t do. I won’t start a band expecting to be lead singer but I will volunteer to help organise an event. I can do great presentations but I can’t do spatial. I am very auditory but not visual at all, so it doesn’t matter how much you ask me to visualise something I just can’t.
Each label, each brick takes a part in the boundary wall and the more I learn about how God made me the stronger the boundary I have.
Now does all this mean I don’t believe we can change? Not at all. I had very low intra-personal intelligence when I started this journey of discovery and as my knowledge and understanding of myself and others has grown so has my intra-personal intelligence has also grown. Fifteen years ago my choleric bossy-ness was evident to all but God has added a huge amount of grace, patience, love and gentleness to me and I am not as bossy as I once was (or so my Mummy says ;P).
I’ve also come to the belief that God hasn’t made us one way e.g. choleric sanguine for us to spend a life time trying to become something else or more “well-rounded”. He has designed us with certain gifts, personality traits and abilities for a reasons. And He has withheld some from us on purpose as well. This is why I you won’t catch me playing golf, trying to lead a band or desiring to be an engineer. They all fall in my area of weakness. Rather I serve God by developing and playing to my strengths the best I can to fulfil His purpose and plan for me to the best of my ability.
So where do you start on this journey? Well, what do you like to do? What comes easily and naturally to you? Who is the real you? Not the masks, but the one God knows and loves under all that? That is who He wants to start with and together with God, if you’ll let Him change you, you can become the very best you possible. God can create the environment for you to be free to be the real you….. sometimes, if not all the time.
So go today, take the time to discover who God made you to be. Whoever that person is, they are uniquely, intentionally and wonderfully made!
If you had to describe yourself in just 7 words what would they be? Share them in the comments below.