If you’ve ever seen an acronym, like, ENFP for example, you’re familiar with the famous Myers & Briggs personality types that were developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs-Myers. The discovery and formulation of the sixteen types of personalities have revolutionized how we see ourselves, as well as our ability to interact with each other.
Before I heard of personality types, I became more aware of how different I was as I interacted with people, and prior to discovering that I was an introvert, I longed for a more outgoing personality. I felt that I would have more friends if my personality was different, yet God encouraged me. My intimate and growing relationship with God directly correlated with how I saw myself and how I’ve been made as a person. I’m still amazed at how God helped change my thoughts about my personality, and when I learned about the different personality types, it was an incredible confirmation for me.
That said, I feel the need to write about the dangers of leaning too heavily on our personality type, where we never give God the opportunity to use us beyond the comfort zones of our personality. I’ll use myself as an example. Like I said, I’m an introvert, and introverts have certain qualities about them. As an introvert, I love spending time alone and I’m recharged as a result. Extroverts are those who gain energy when they’re around people, and there’s nuance in both personality traits.
Another quality of introversion is that it is easier to process your thoughts inwardly than it is to talk through things outwardly. For me this is especially true, considering that I love to write, while not being a huge fan of public speaking. Identifying these aspects of my personality has helped me gain more self-awareness, as well as navigate life more effectively. However, if God wanted to use me in an area that I’m traditionally uncomfortable with, can you imagine if I brought up my introversion as the reason I can’t do it?
Of course, for those of us who want to do God’s will, we usually don’t blatantly tell God no. Instead, we try to rationalize our way out of it, even if God is using other people to show us what He wants to do. Even if it’s for a moment or a season. I can even go further than doing what God is leading us to do, and go into how we cultivate relationships. There are some people who God will connect us with that clash with our personality. God knows how much this affects me as well, because if I find a person to be too much, I need to get away and recuperate!
There are people in your life who are much more upfront than you are, and it can be hard to deal with that if you’re more reserved. Likewise, if you have a friend who is much more reserved, you may try to “help” them do more around you, as if something is wrong with them. God has a habit of placing people in your life that’ll make you uncomfortable. If you’re someone who hides your faults under the mask of your personality, be ready for God to expose that. If He hasn’t done it yet and this makes you think about whether you’re hiding, I encourage you to pray about that as well.
I’ve discovered that God has the perfect personality because He is perfect in every way, which has transformed how I view the different personality traits humanity has. Be proud of the unique personality you have, but don’t use it to hide behind your insecurity, or resist being used by God to impact others. His grace is sufficient for whatever it is He wants you to do.