Personality Tests or Pursuing Holiness?

Personality Tests or Pursuing Holiness?

Personality tests. You love them or you hate them. Actually, I both love and hate them. I secretly love analyzing and studying people. What motives someone, why do they act that way, why are they so different than another in their same situation. Pretty much all the reasons I ended up in social work and sociology. So yes, I do take every personality test I find and ask everyone else their results and then we complain about how that test just didn’t fully understand how complex of a personality we have.

Humans are a funny paradox in that way – we’re both desperate for definition and meaning to who we are yet desperate to be unique and special. As fun as personality tests may be and some times they really can give you some ideas for self-reflection and assessment, they don’t give us meaning or answers to our longings. We aren’t defined by letters or numbers; we’re defined by our loving Creator. Our core longings will only be met in Christ and being reconciled back to our creator God.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans

Romans 15:13

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Psalm 107:9

If you understand God fills you with meaning, it is possible to pursue holiness by understanding your personality. When you understand how your personality intersects your spiritual gifts, you can pursue using them to build up the body of Christ. Jesus told us to evangelize and make disciples, we weren’t ever supposed to stay at doing self-assessments for our personal growth. In fact, if you spend too much time looking inward, you’ll find your happiness decreases. Why? Because we’re meant to look outward and to build up the body of Christ, not just ourselves.

For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:

If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s[b] faith; if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:3-8

Don’t think that your personality or gifts are higher than another person’s. There is no perfect personality, but generally our personality does play into those gifts that the Spirit has empowered in us. But don’t be surprised if as you grow in a gift that part of your personality does change! The more I teach and speak in front of people, the more often people think I’m a true extrovert. And sometimes I’m not even sure if I am an introvert anymore. But I had a love and desire for teaching and my social anxiety wasn’t helping me out much, so I prayed for the Spirit to empower me in those moments. This is what can happen when we allow ourselves to be defined and built up by God instead of limiting how we can be used when we accept that we will only be what a test tells us.

The reason we can’t accept that we are static people with a never changing personality is because we are Christians, we are told to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15). This in and of itself signifies change, we aren’t to stay as an old creation but to actively be becoming a new spirit filled creation.

That means Enneagrams 8s still must seek to be kind and 1s must use gentleness when correcting and 5s need to show love and 7s need to show patience. More than anything, we should be working towards growing in the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 4:22). Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s part of your natural personality and often it won’t. We have a universal call to Christian living, as shown in passages such as in Colossians 3

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17

And how do we move past the limits of our human personality to live as defined by God? Since we were originally made in His image, we turn back to our Creator and keep our eyes on Him. When our eyes are on worshiping our Creator, we can be transformed and live out a life complete in Christ – defined, fulfilled, all our needs met, and content in who we were made to be.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

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