Volume 1, Number 1 June 1998
|MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR||16 PERSONALITY TYPES|
PERSONALITY AND SPIRITUALITY
"A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON PERSONALITY"
Fannie R. Linder, M.A., D.A.P.A.
Certified Diplomate in Psychotherapy
If you are a person, you have a personality - a specific, unique kind of personality, in fact. God gave you a unique personality even as He gave you DNA with specific instructions for your own unique fingerprints, voice prints, hair follicles, eye color, skin color, shoe size, etc. All of these can be scientifically measured and you can be identified by them. Science is good when it measures and reports the truth. A profile can now be made of a criminal and future activity predicted based upon what he has done - because personality shows how we are apt to think and to act.
Most people - including Christians - do not know much about their own personalities. This is unfortunate, for we are enjoined by scripture to change, to grow, and to work out (with the Holy Spirits help) our own salvation. How can we do that effectively if we dont even know the person that God has made? Wanting to know more about your personality -- who you are and how you interact with others -- is certainly an honorable desire. I Cor. 11:28 says, Let a man examine himself.... This pertains to use of personality, too.
According to psychometric studies, personality type does not fluctuate for most people: that, basically, our temperaments appear to be the result of genetic inheritance and early experiences in life...what God has given us, what has happened to us and what we have done with it.
One psychometric inventory that has gained in validity and in popularity in finding out your personality based on type classification is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. However, always bear in mind that even though you may fit into a particular classification, or type, each person within that classification may be similar to the others of that type - yet is totally unique -- and wonderfully made!
Personality is also dynamically able to grow, to expand us - releasing talents and gifts that may have even been hidden from our view. If personality could not grow, it could not be shaped by the effort of understanding and there would be little reason to seek counsel; nor would we be expected to do anything about the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We are, however, told to work out our own salvation.
According to our personalities, our work on ourselves will differ from anothers. How we perceive reality, how we react to life, how we look at things will impact throughout the frame of our personality. Tremendous personal growth and self-fulfillment can be the result. It can also cause distress and emotional upset when we are unaware that events in our lives have the ability to shape us in ways beyond our control. Knowing our personality type can assist us in knowing how to face difficult situations.
From time to time, its wise to examine ourselves - to give some attention to our growth, to look at our relationships with our family members, our friends and even our work associates, and to try to understand how our personalities are interacting with theirs. It is wise to examine whether we are using the gifts that God has given us to add to the potential fulness of which humans are capable: bringing the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth. Indeed, many do not even know they have gifts. They don't realize that they have potential. Studying our personality type can be of assistance in giving us insights for it helps us to measure whats in you.
Being a member of a particular type certainly does not mean that you are not unique. You are. It simply means that you are more like that particular type of persons than you are like other types of persons. It means, too, that you would probably naturally get along better with those of your type than certain other types. Knowing type can explain why you and others just seem to rub each other the wrong way. It may simply be personality, for people who see the world differently would tend to disagree for that simple reason...and not for something personal at all.
The MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR results say that none of the personality types is good or bad, that none is better or worse than any other. That whatever the type you are is just fine. As the saying goes, God dont make junk! There are, quite simply, things to embrace and things to watch out for. Accepting yourself is the first step in accepting others.
Through self-knowledge, you become understandable - by yourself and by others. Your personality type suits you well to get along with people in certain situations, and you also have parts of you that sometimes build walls between yourself and others. Both parts become understandable when you come to know you.
You have strengths, you have weaknesses. Everybody does. The more you know about the relationships between your strengths and weaknesses, the better you become at both observing and understanding yourself. The more you are able to understand and gain insight into your own behaviors, the more you will be able to understand the behaviors of others and, with the Holy Spirits help and guidance, your personal fulfillment and effectiveness can be immeasurably increased - to your wonderment and to His glory.
"For as we have many members in one
body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many,
are one body...and every one members one of another..."
"Having then gifts differing...whether prophecy, let us prophesy...Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation..."
A JEWISH MYSTICAL PERSPECTIVE
"THE BIBLE AND SYMBOLISM"
"Kabbalah: Tradition of
Zev ben Shimon Halevi
"One of the most potent symbols in the Bible is the Crossing of the Red Sea. This is not just the record of a miraculous event in a nation's history but the description of a spiritual initiation. Once an aspirant [disciple] has left the old way of life, represented by Egypt, and crossed the sea of commitment, he cannot go back. He has to face the inner psychological desert, with its rebellions and its discipline, its purification and its revelation on an INNER Mount Sinai, until the old slave psychology has died and he is ready in a new generation of attitudes to enter the promised land of the Spirit.
"Kabbalah: Tradition of
Zev ben Shimon Halevi
"[Moses] is the choice to bring the enslaved children of Israel - the psyche, with its mass of discontent and ingrained habit - into the Promised Land of [Spirit]; or [the psyche has another choice] to remain, unrealized in a desert between the fleshpots of Egypt and the land flowing with milk and honey."