Thursday, October 20, 2016


Be sympathetic” (1 Peter 3:8).

The "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" is a personality test designed to measure personality traits and the ways by which people relate to the world. According to their metric system I’m an I-N-T-J: an introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging person. That’s a fair appraisal of my personality, I suppose, though I must admit, after all these years, I don’t know myself very well.  

There's an upside to my personality type, but the downside is that I-N-T-Js tend to be detached, dispassionate and uncaring, in which case it’s easy for me to excuse my lack of compassion by saying, "That’s just me,” and settle for something less than that which God has in mind for me.

The nub of the matter lies here: I am not just an I-N-T-J; I am a S-I-N-N-E-R, and much oF my personality is still unconverted. Myers-Briggs makes no moral judgments, but I must do so. My indifference to pain and suffering is sin and very much unlike Jesus who was said, on many occasions, to be “filled with compassion” (Matthew 9:35 et. al.). I don’t want to be like me; want to be like Him!

That’s a tall order. Can a leopard change his spots? You bet! Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Change doesn’t necessarily come about easily or quickly; it may take place gradually over the course of many years, but God is determined to make new men and women of all of us if we keep asking for His help. John Donne said, “God is the alchemist who has wit (wisdom), and whose spark makes good things of bad.”

Hence my prayer: “And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you’ve got what it takes…” (Psalm 40:17, The Message)

David Roper

1 comment:

Dieter Schlaepfer said...

I've always found personality tests to have some resonance, but they always feel incomplete and somehow unsatisfying. So, I thought of the following verse:

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it." - Revelation 2:17 NASB

Think of all the people in the scriptures who received a new name. It seems to me that this new name conveys an accurate representation of our personality, and also indicates our completion into the unique person that God intended us to become.

What's especially interesting to me is that God chooses to make it our private name. Then, in Revelation 3:12, we're told

"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name."

Perhaps knowing Jesus' new name means that we will fully understand Him as he fully understands us!


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