There have been personality tests ranging from MBTI, temperament tests and Enneagram which try to define Man through a psychological lens. So it’s only natural to want to know why we act in certain ways.
Growing up, I identified as a Melancholic/Introvert temperament (Can’t really remember the other one).
I recall taking an MBTI test (16Personalities) and being excited about it. Reading my life as an INFP felt as if someone had stepped into my mind to read my past, present and future.
As children of God, we need to ask the following questions:
- What does the bible say about temperaments?
- Is it okay to look up our personality types?
- How exactly did we come into these labels?
- Did God design us this way?
Choose to be defined by God First
In the beginning, God made Man in His image and likeness.
After the fall, man fell from that image and longed for other images asides God.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.Genesis 5:3
Our spirits died and our souls married the world and sin. Our bodies began to dictate how to live and what to do. We became slaves to our brains and our minds.
Our environments became the sole deciding factor of how to live and respond to situations.
When we got born again, although our Spirits became New creatures in Christ, our souls still carried some baggages from sin and the world.
We need to understand that our identity isn’t found in our temperaments. It isn’t defined by our personality either.
Our identity should first be defined by God. And this can only happen as we keep knowing Him.
He alone knows our soul code.
He designed us and knows what makes us tick.
You don’t take an iPhone store to a Samsung store for Samsung to fix your phone or upgrade your iPhone’s Operating system.
Neither do you go to a mechanic when you need to see a Doctor.
This applies to Knowing and Seeking God. This is our Purpose as believers. We aren’t to seek our definition from the world. The world gives a false definition and will define us less than God’s intention.
Overtime, I discovered that it is in my knowing God I discovered more about myself.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
And then Knowing Him heals me of everything and gives me a fresh start-Becoming like Christ.
Christ, the temperament of the Godhead
Jesus was not defined by a temperament. He was neither an extrovert or introvert. He was Christlike and His Personality reflected Godliness.
His personality surpasses the world’s definition and is stable.
It is everlasting and gives room for God’s will to be done.
As an introvert, there are things I ‘naturally’ don’t like and I can’t stand.
In the past, I prided myself in being a certain way (introvert) Because I couldn’t find myself operating outside certain circumstances. This label made me rigid on the man-made standards I’d built for myself while neglecting the Christlike standards I was supposed to come into.
This is a wrong way of living and I’m gradually repenting of choosing my standards over God’s.
Now I’m not saying we should pretend to be someone else. God is ever loving even as he tries to change and transform us from within.
The danger of defining ourselves through this lens is that it makes us give excuses for our flaws.
Jesus came to die for us so that we can discard those same flaws we love so much.
When the Holy-Spirit started convicting me that my temperament type made me selfish, I was shocked. I never thought I was selfish. According to my thought process, I was loving and kind. I put in my best for my family friends and I’d even go extra mile for them. I empathized and offered solutions in the best possible way.
So how could I be selfish? My personality/temperament looked harmless. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was just being ‘me’
Temperaments are rooted in the flesh not Spirit
The more I allowed God work in my soul, I saw my true self and the kind of human I’d become over time. I prioritized my solitude because human beings were too stressful and complex to handle.
Have you ever wondered how we’d cope in Heaven if we don’t learn to love and live with one another now?
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.1John4:20
I preferred books, music, movies and my ‘me’ time to souls.
If anyone tried to call over phone, I’d get anxious for fear of being awkward. When people tried to draw close, I’d start thinking a thousand things about how this could end up going wrong or right.
Making friends felt stressful because I used to have a hard time ‘letting go’.
I had this ‘perfectionism’ persona and I hated it if anyone was trying to get in the way of my ‘picture perfect’
Worse, I hated myself when I fell short of my own standards. I’d just become moody for days for no reason and allowed my emotions dictate how I treated others.
I felt I had to curate the perfect social media feed, the perfect book and everything else to ‘look’ good. I allowed my ‘perfect timing’ mindset rob me of God’s timing.
But that’s just flesh, not Spirit. Some of these attributes look harmless but to God, it’s toxic and carnal. Because it is birthed from Flesh.
Flesh always gets in the way of God and tries to offer God service because it feels it’s good enough.
Just like Cain tried to please God through flesh.
Because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those CONTROLLED by the flesh CANNOT please GodRomans 8:8
Surrender ALL to God
The Christ life is a life of surrender. God is calling us to surrender not just our bad parts but also the seemingly good parts of ourselves to take up His own goodness and life.
We must allow God lead us, not our temperaments
We must also be willing to bend to His will and plan for our lives.
As an introvert, I STILL ENJOY reading books and my ‘me’ time, but IF I love God MORE, I must love His will and the humans God has placed around me more.
I must INTENTIONALLY take out time for them.
Loving People and giving them a part of me is part of the pruning process and God is going to keep putting people around me that ‘annoy’ me and my ‘standards.’
When God brings situations that are unfamiliar, we must see it as an opportunity for growth into Christlikeness. We should be eager to discard our old life if we want His.
We shouldn’t prioritize the way we feel and do ‘our things’ over what God would have us do.
So I hope you let go and let God.
I pray you submit to God so you can resist the world’s definition of you.
And I hope you discover only God knows how to heal you completely and make you whole.
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.John 12:25
Photo by Stas Knop
Bloom with Love. Xx!