Your Personality Profile Is Tainted
There is this personality profile test going around Facebook. You’ve likely seen it. Most of us have probably taken it, even if you didn’t share your results.
I took it.
Here is a screen shot of the first test I took…
Look at that. Is that a guy you’d like to get to know? High anxiety. Very Reserved. Not Outgoing. Emotionally unstable… and apparently unfriendly.
So what was happening in life when I took that test? Well, the bank account was dry, and the snow caused me to have to postpone work. It was valentines day and I couldn’t even afford to buy a card (but that’s just a hallmark thing anyway…). And there were a few other factors going on in life that would bring a person down. AND looking back I had not eaten very much, and was also not sleeping well.
Later on a good client paid an invoice. I had a nice dinner. The kids went to bed. I had a glass of wine with my wife. Then I went on Facebook and saw that test, so I took it again, this time feeling a little better about life.
Here is the result.
All of the sudden I am a warm individual who is more emotionally stable, a little less anxious, more out going and friendly.
So here is my take away from this test…. Trying to make personality assessments based on these little tests can be a wee bit risky. We all reflect different personalities in different situations.
The usually outgoing and friendly mom, can be a real grouch if baby keeps her up all night.
I am a completely different person in a crowded room than I am with one or two close friends.
People who are affected by the changing seasons have different personalities in summer and winter. When taking the test, some people may misunderstand the questions and answer them incorrectly. Others may change certain answers hoping for certain results. “I just know I am friendly, so I am going to make it appear that way…”
Hopefully no one is taking these tests seriously and getting pigeon holed…“Well the test said I am unfriendly, so I guess I will just sit at home and brood…”.
Yes, I am quiet, reserved person who struggles with anxiety. I am clearly an introvert and can come off as unfriendly, and these tests do show that, but to rely on Facebook personality tests to help a person determine his value, or her gifting, is not cool. Don’t do it.
What Does God Say?
Well we know what these tests say. I am high anxiety and unfriendly. You are reserved. She is gregarious.
So let us look to the Bible. What does the Bible say about personality? About yours? About mine?
Well for me I know what the Bible says about anxiety – that I am to cast all my cares upon Him because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7) That He even clothes the flowers of the fields, and feeds the birds of the air, so why worry? (Matthew 6:25-34)
In Jeremiah 17:9 the Lord tells us that our hearts are not to be trusted. Then, in Samuel 16:7, we read what the Lord says to Samuel,
“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
We need to look at our hearts.
They are deceitful.
And the Lord looks on our hearts.
He is not looking at a personality test.
Or a spiritual gift test.
Or what you do.
Or what you give.
He is looking at your heart. Why you did it. Why did you give that tithe? Why did you help that homeless person…why did you post a picture of your Bible and coffee on instagram with the hashtag #quiettimewithJesus, was it for Him, or so that others might see you?
What it all comes down to is the fact that “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:10-12) Sin is so deeply rooted in each of us, that every part of your personality, and my personality, is tainted with it.
And our hearts seek to undo us.
Especially when we take these self centered tests.
In my pride, I couldn’t let that first test go. It bothered me that I was “unfriendly.” I was too proud for that.
And to clarify…pride isn’t limited to a self-righteousness, or a holier than thou attitude. Our pride can also be displayed in self-preoccupation. Perhaps for you it is being overly concerned with what others think of you, and strongly desiring that others would think highly of you.
Thinking extensively of how we look or act in public comes from a longing to impress others. I used to worry about praying in front of others, and would write it out several times, and practice it…why? Pride. I didn’t want to stumble or appear “unholy.”
Do you post things on Facebook just to impress others?
Do you gram that perfect outfit? Why?
I don’t know, maybe…Perhaps, running a blog called One Christian Dad, may be a way to hopefully have others look up to you…cough.
Ahem….where was I? Oh right…
We all know those who love to redirect every…single…conversation to themselves (seriously how did you make this conversation about YOU yet again???)
This is a symptom of self centered pride.
The bottom line is that when we are proud, we think a lot about ourselves.
And I think about myself A LOT.
What about you?
So what is the cure to pride? Well, I believe the Bible teaches that it is love.
Psalm 86:15 says, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness...”
When we consider our sins. When we consider how much we really fail, and we read words like this, we can say, “Thank you Lord, that you are slow to anger. And that you love us, despite our self centered pride.”
In Romans 5:8, (my life verse) God reveals his love,
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Here’s thing. God loved us, while we were in sin. While we were separated from him. Christ died for us, despite our wicked hearts. Our Triune God Loves us. He Loves you! Despite your pride. Despite your sin. No matter what that personality test says.
The Bible tells us that love is greatest. WE can ALL love, regardless of our personality. That test you took may say you are reserved or gregarious, unfriendly or warm… but that test doesn’t matter.
The spirit of Love, the ability to love, comes not out of our personality, but it is a gift of God. A gift He freely gives to each of us, DESPITE our personality. We love, because He first loved us. This love, then, will be a reflection of God’s love and will reveal itself not only in our sincere love for God, but also a deep compassion for others. And as we grow in love, we’ll think of our selves less.
So it is good to know about yourself. What makes you tick. Sure, personality tests have their place, and the Bible tells us to examine our hearts. So look at yourself. Look in that mirror. See the way God made you? See the way sin tainted that? Now stop looking at yourself and look to Christ. See the Love that he lavishes upon you. Lavish that same love on others. Whether that is in the context of a crowded party or one on one for coffee, or anonymously sending someone a an encouraging note.
Love is the answer.
Love kills pride.
God is Love.