Posted in Romans

Liking People

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7

One of the most liberating truths of Scripture is that God accepts me just as I am in Christ. He doesn’t just love me, He likes me and wants to be around me. One phrase I’ve heard Christians say is: “I love them, but I don’t have to like them.” I don’t think that’s right. What if someone came up to you and said, “I love you, but I don’t like you.” Wouldn’t that make you feel totally rejected? God wants us to learn how to like and enjoy people the way He does.

My family is very into the Myers-Briggs personality test. Here’s how it works: you answer a number of questions and based on your responses they let you know which one of sixteen different personalities you fit most closely into. The interesting thing about the result is that it is unrelated to how you were raised, rather it reflects only who you have made to be as a personality. Many books have been written recently around these sixteen different types that include strengths and weaknesses of each personality, how each personality views life, how to raise children of different personalities, and one interesting study which identified famous people of each personality type.

This study gave a name for each of the sixteen personalities. The six in my family include: “the mystic” (deep but trouble doing regular life), “the enforcer” (a love for rules and discipline), “the counselor” (empathetic for others pain), “the messiah” (sees self as the solution to other’s problems), “the architect” (dreams of ways things could be and desires to change them), and “the field marshal” (goal oriented and wants to take others along). The test identified me as “the field marshal” (surprise, surprise) and gave the two famous examples of Napoleon and Hillary Clinton. 

My point is that God made everyone of the sixteen personality types and He likes every model even though some are harder to get along with than others. We need to accept each other and enjoy the diversity God has made instead of trying to make everyone the same. My advice has always been: “Don’t try to be like someone else, only seek to be yourself filled with the Holy Spirit.”