A few years ago I walked into my first leadership class of the semester on a Monday night at 6pm. My first day of classes was a bear, and the last thing I wanted to do was sit through a 3 hour class while all my friends were having the time of their lives (anytime I’m not with my friends, I assume they’re having the time of their lives, and I’m missing out on it).
However, as I walked into the classroom I caught the eye of a girl I had met the day before, immediately dubbing her “The Cutest Girl of All-Time” to all my friends via text message. She was new, and seemed happy to see a familiar face as she invited me to sit by her.
I. was. PUMPED.
We proceeded to sit next to each other every single week during those 3 hours, the exception being the weeks we had a seating chart (the teacher admittedly enforced it BECAUSE of us). Long story VERY short, we fell in love, are engaged and will be getting married on June 4!
But that’s not the point of this story. Lately, I've been thinking about some things we learned in thatclass. We had to learn our own strengths, love languages, personality traits and how to recognize these in others. It turns out that according to Meyers Briggs, Morgan (The Cutest Girl of All-Time) and I share 4 of our top 5 strengths. Opposites may attract one another, but so can kindred spirits!
As I’ve learned more about personality types (introvert vs extrovert), love languages (affirmation, acts of service etc) and strengths (Woo, Positivity, Includer etc) I’ve found that I often apply them to my spiritual life:
“Because I’m an extrovert, studying the Bible and quiet time alone with Jesus don’t come naturally to me, so I’m going to focus more on what I connect with easier!” Or “Empathy isn’t one of my strengths, so its okay if I don’t rush to comfort that person who’s hurting right now. An “empathizer” will surely be along shortly to save the day.” Or when I know someone’s love language is words of affirmation and their kitchen is a mess… I might say “I just spent an hour listening and affirming them, so I don’t need to help them do their dishes! They know I love them already.”
Maybe you can relate to this kind of self-talk. As I’ve learned more about myself, I’ve found that I have an easier time letting myself off the hook with certain things because “I’m just not wired that way.”
You may read this and say, “Wow. He is selfish.” You’re not wrong! However, through the work of the Holy Spirit I am identifying these selfish tendencies, and through Christ who strengthens me I am trying to eliminate them, one at a time.
I guess I've decided that knowing my personal strengths doesn't have to be a spiritual weakness, but it can be if I let that knowledge dictate/stagnate my growth. So, I will not allow a knowledge of my strengths and their corresponding weaknesses become an excuse to neglect certain aspects of Christ’s character.
I want to worship God like Jesus, pray like Jesus, serve like Jesus, sound like Jesus, see like Jesus, and love like Jesus, 100% of the time.
”And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” -Phillipians 1:6 (NLT)