Tag Archives: personality

It’s just not “Me”

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When we were at the World Missions Summit earlier this month, one of the speakers, Scott Martin, talked about Predisposition vs. Predestination.  One of his illustrations stuck in my mind and this is my version of his story.  Just giving credit where due.

My daughter went to Kindergarten this year.  As a parent, you’re always checking out the other kids at the Open House to see which ones are going to be problems.  Inevitably there is a girl who is already interested in boys.  She’s the girl that was cute and flirty as a baby.  Now she’s the girl who sneaks her mother’s lipgloss before leaving the house in the morning.  She may only be 5, but she’s got boys all around her.  By the time she’s in late elementary school, she’s already had a string of boy friends and a waiting list far into junior high.  That girl was PREDISPOSED to be flirt.  She’s going to be trouble once she get’s into high school and you can see that on the first day of Kindergarten.

Then there’s the boy in the ninja costume at the Kindergarten Open House.  In the nursery as a baby, he was “the biter”.  As a toddler, he would constantly grab toys from other babies and whack them over the head with it.  He is the one who will spend recess time practicing his karate kicks on the weaker children.  If you build a block tower, he will be the one to knock it over.  By elementary school, he is familiar with the Principal’s office, and by junior high, he’s a thug.  That’s the kid that you’re sure is headed for “Juvie” sometime in his 3 year high school career.  You can tell on the first day of Kindergarten that this boy is PREDISPOSED to be a bully.

Each one of us has character traits predisposed, deposited in our DNA.  If you are the parent of the flirty girl or the bully boy, you might try to counter-weigh those in-born traits with some environmental conditioning.  You might succeed to a degree.  But far too often parents are in denial and young people just default to their natural tendencies without trying to do anything different or to fight against their genetics.  It’s far easier, that’s for sure.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard someone excuse the bad behavior of another person by saying, ”Oh, that’s just how they are.  You just have to understand them.”  DNA is powerful, but there has to be an override switch thrown every once and a while.  I have also heard people say, “I could never be a missionary.  I’m just not wired like that.  It’s just not ME.”

What I want to say is, “GOOD!  Cause it’s not supposed to be about YOU!  It’s supposed to be about JESUS.”  Both my husband and I have, in our own ways, kicked against the restraints of our personal make up to become missionaries.  My husband lived in the same house all his life, so moving to a foreign country was not something he was automatically attracted to.  He is a home body.  Plus, he hates public speaking, yet God called him to preach.  It’s taken lots of practice and he’s good at it now, but he doesn’t enjoy it.  He is not PREDISPOSED to being a preacher or missionary.

And I have a quiet, thoughtful personality.  I am stressed out by talking to people.  I need big chunks of alone-time.  So anything related to ministering to people drains me.  Put me behind the scenes and I’m happiest.  I am not PREDISPOSED to being conversational or “putting myself out there” so to speak.  It looks like we were both unlikely candidates to do this job.  So why do we do it?  Because we feel that God asked us to go and do something.

And he’s asking you too.  He’s asking you to do something that is uncomfortable.  He’s asking you to push against your natural tendencies.  He’s asking you to lay aside your disposition, your excuses that “it’s just not ME”.  He’s asking you to make it about HIM.  When you get your eyes off yourself and onto HIM, then your ears will also tune to his voice.  Then you will hear him calling you.  Do you hear him yet?

“The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God.”

~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

 

I guess it’s a Niche-Thing

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My sister and I are complete opposites.  The other day I was on the phone with her and she said something that made me laugh.  She works in the President’s office at a major University.  She was telling me about the qualifications that she looks for in students that she’s going to hire in office positions.  She said they have to have this innate quality of “Schmoozability” which she defined as “looking sharp and knowing how to turn on the personality.”  

She said you have to have this quality if you’re going to work around people of power.  She said it’s just the way a person presents themselves that makes them appealing to powerful people.  It’s an innate quality.  A girl came into her office asking about a position.  She had major bed head and a huge nose ring.  My sister didn’t even look at the girl’s application or qualifications.  She said, “No we aren’t hiring.”  The girl just didn’t have that Schmoozy quality.

I said, “Oh, I’d slit my wrists if I had to kiss up to powerful people all day!  More likely what would happen would be that I would smack someone across the face for thinking too highly of himself and then I’d get fired.”  We laughed.  I said, “I guess I don’t have Schmoozability, so what does that make me?  Go ahead and say it… dirty hippie!  Go ahead, I know you’re thinking it.”  We were almost in tears laughing, by now!

“Nooooo!  That’s not what I meant!!”  She protested.  But it was too late.  The filter had failed.  I wasn’t cut out for a position of power.

“I guess I’m JUST a missionary.  I don’t have to look sharp for anyone, right?”  I teased.

We laughed, “It’s just a niche thing, I guess.” She smoothed it over… very schmoozy-like.

Never mind.  That’s why I don’t work in the corporate world.  That’s never, EVER appealed to me.  I much rather prefer professions that are creative, out-of-the-box, and meaningful in the grand scheme of things.  I like helping the underdog get a leg up.  I love teaching.  I love serving quietly in my own little way.  I love not having a boss who hovers over me and tells me what to do.

My sister and I are just so different.  Schmoozing just feels… disingenuous.  Like a politician.  I can’t imagine that this is a quality that anyone would admire or desire or cultivate.  I’ve always said I’d never make a good politician’s wife or ambassador’s wife.  Number one, I’m super Klutzy.  Number two, I’m not schmoozy enough.  Number three, I admit it… I do have some hippie tendencies.  Not gonna lie to you, I like the clothes.

I don’t know why the President didn’t want to hire us! We’re awesome!

You’ve got quite the personality

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This blog is just a fun quickie (you might kill some time at work playing with this).  I recently discovered a super short version of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and I made all my family members take it.  Normally the test is pretty long, but this is a condensed version… only 4 question.  But it’s insanely accurate!  So here’s how this works,  go to this page and answer the four questions mid-page in the yellow box.  Then when you have your four letters, go to this page and read your profile.  It has the best descriptions of the 16 personality types that I’ve found yet.  It’s kind of creepy to read such an accurate description of yourself written by total strangers!

I think you’ll like this, and feel free to share with your friends and family.  Then you can all analyze each other and compare personality profiles and see how compatible you all are.  Maybe you can save yourself a few bucks in therapy.  Drop me a message if you take the test and tell me if you thought it was accurate too.  (I’m an INFP in case you’re curious.)

And all the introverts cheered… in our heads!