Some time ago I took a fairly in-depth personality test, with the results showing that I am 84% introverted. This came as no surprise. In fact, I assumed that my percentage would have been even higher. (If you would like a sneak-peak inside of my head, read The Huffington Post’s “21 Undeniable Signs That You’re An Introvert“). Introversion seems to explain who I am and how I operate. It’s as if these personality tests know me.
However, in pondering all of this (yeah, totally an introverted thing to do), I realized that there is a hidden detriment in these labels. Introversion has come to not only explain – but also to justify – the reason for many of my actions. It has become far too easy to dismiss my unwillingness to make small talk with others, and lack of sociability in crowds (among many other things), as mere personality traits. “That is just the way that I am.” Yet, doing this removes any desire for improvement. Self-evaluation becomes relegated to more easily-identifiable moral platitudes. I become ensnared by the worldly philosophy which says “embrace who you are.”
I am reminded though, that God knows me much better than any personality test ever could – and He says that I am a broken person. All of me – even my introverted personality – needs to be redeemed.
It is Good News to know that God did not leave us to ourselves. Instead, he sent His Son to save us and make us “new creations.” The Holy Spirit allows us to know God’s will and take on the character – even personality – of Jesus.
Jesus made small talk with strangers on a regular basis. He was eager and willing to meet new people and attend large gatherings. He spoke in front of crowds and was not afraid to be bold in his discussions with others. At the same time, Jesus thought deeply about important issues. He looked for ways to make conversation meaningful, and was a careful listener. Jesus maintained a large network but also dedicated concerted time to only a small group of friends. He valued his time alone in prayer and meditation – often for long periods – and urged his followers to do the same.
Jesus was a perfect human being. He lived life as it should be – and provides an example that we should emulate. Jesus shows us what it looks like to “love God (a deeply personal, inward call) and others (a profoundly social, outward call).” Through Him, we are able to remove our “introverted” (or “extroverted”) labels, and instead live in the declaration that we can be so much more – “children of God.”
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Holy Spirit allows us to know God’s will and take on the character – even personality – of Jesus.