“You’ve got personality!” How many of us have heard this from friends, spouses, significant others, family, Co-workers? I don’t know about you, but when I hear this phrase, I guess I tend to read way to much into it. Is that a good thing? What’s your motive behind saying that? Am I supposed to thank you? As my personality has developed and changed over the years, I’m beginning to care less and less as to if my personality is positive to that person, or more annoying!
We all have a personality. Many people like to base these off of meyers-briggs. For the sake of simplicity this is where I will point us towards. While much like zodiac signs, horoscopes, and the like, I take this with the same grain of salt. It is not an end all be all conclusion, but it certainly helps jumpstart the conversation and get us talking about how we interact with others, who we interact best with, and why we act the way we do. I recently retook mine for giggles, and noticed that it changed from what I once thought I was. I am an ENFJ, the protagonist. I was reading the description on a website titled “16 Personalities” and found some of it to be eerily true in my life.
ENFJ’S radiate authenticity. They take up genuine care in the lives of those around them. Often they are very trusting of people and tend to be vulnerable once they make a connection. In relationships they desire a loving commitment of their significant other. They rely heavily on day to day communication with their relationships, making sure they are doing well and going strong. In their friendships they seem to learn to connect well with any personality and genuinely care about understanding their point of views and morals in life. In work they strive to be likeable people, and work hard at making sure they bring the team together and strive off that honest communication between their colleagues.
Like with any personality, they have their areas of opportunities. ENFJ’s risk being to idealistic, and taking opposition too seriously. They often can be over sensitive and ask for criticism, oftentimes out of insecurities rather out of confidence. In relationships they invest emotionally. Often if things go south they feel guilt and betrayal with their efforts slipping away. In their field of work they can be critical, oftentimes becoming stubborn and digging in their heels even more when faced with opposition or faced with those that aren’t long term focused.
Well, many of those excerpts from my findings on my personality hit close to home for me. I enjoy being self aware, but after studying more about myself, I think I’d rather be naive to myself sometimes. So why do I share this with you? I promise it is not to gloat about myself or to project me better than those around. I do it to spark conversations of personalities and challenges in greater humanity.
In our lives there are a lot of personalities. Ones we understand and grow with, and others that we simply pray would get out of our lives. But we are a united people. We will clash with some and we will gravitate towards others. While this is our greatest asset in humanity, it is also the same trait that is the root of bigotry, racism, xenophobia, Christian quarrels, and world wars that have killed millions. It is not something to be taken lightly.
During election seasons, these personalities seem to manifest stronger via social platforms (I know that I myself am guilty of this.) In seasons like this we tend to be more vocal of others’ personalities and our true thoughts on that matter. But it is even more of a reminder to learn how to coexist and live together in a world that needs OUR help. Ours as a whole, not just one personality type. The poor and homeless, the sick and dying, the refugees torn out of their homes, marginalized ethnic peoples, the outcasts and mentally ill, the addicts and those caught in modern day slavery.
This is the mission of the Gospel for those of us who are Christ followers. The 21st century knows far too well what Christians are against, and rarely what we are commanded by Jesus to be for. I want to look deeper into some of the arching points of the ENFJ personality in the blogs to follow, but as I write this during my flight on vacation, and from my prayers & devotions the last few days, this simple point kept coming to mind.
We have each made mistakes that have at times disqualified us from living this out in our own life. But as I recently read in a book that I was gifted from my sister this past Christmas, we have such a higher purpose to do good in this life and reflect hope, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all, the highest commandment, love.
During the previous months as life surroundings and places have changed, one of the first things I seemed to have forgotten was the greater purpose of my life. I got so caught up in people, places, identities, new scenery, questions, fears, etc, that I simply forgot the presence of Jesus in my day to day life, and didn’t recognize that it was Him guiding and affirming me in a new chapter that at times were uncertain, but turned out to be more of a freedom and calling than anything. I’ve written that I hope to bridge the church in conversations that many may find to be difficult to have, but I must continue to follow my faith’s calling as I pursue to continue in my journey of reflecting love and mercy just as my Savior did for me.
Be kind to one another.