the steps we take, the relationships
we build, and the life we create
we build, and the life we create
Spend any amount of time with me and you will soon discover I am a huge proponent of personality tests. While they are not the end all be all to relational struggles and interactions, I do find they are helpful starting points. My personal favorite is StrengthsFinder. Maybe it was just the time in my life when I completed the profile, but I cried when I read the report. I laugh about it now, but inside I thought, somebody gets me, only to realize I was referring to a set of questions based on research data and analysis. It's nice when people understand us, but even more so when we feel validated as to why we think or act the way we do.
When I’ve done these tests in groups, depending on which personality test, there is one aspect of my personality that people often guess incorrectly. I remember the first time I realized the disconnect. I was teaching a Bible study at our previous church, and one of the women and I were talking before class about a particular book on personality. Trying to guess my personality, she assumed my dominant personality was what Personality Plus terms the “sanguine.” If you’ve taken the DISC, the sanguine is the person who is the high “I.” Energized by large groups of people, the sanguines (high I’s) look for the party, and if it isn’t happening, they make one. They are the embodiment of an extrovert. When I told her that the sanguine was my next to lowest number, she was surprised. She’s not been the only one.
There are giftings and inclinations the Lord has put inside me that draw me toward people, so I understand the confusion. Scott and I live a very people-centered life–and I love the life we live–but my place of comfort is one on one. And I have what is to some a surprising need for time by myself. I am the introverted “I.” Don’t get me wrong, I love people. But right now I am alone in the camper with the two dogs, and I am content. Scott has learned to not take it personal when I get excited about being by myself.
God has been radically rewiring the way I think and approach life in the past year or so. There are some things about me, though, that He has wired into me, and I shouldn’t expect those things to change. Like the fact that I love quiet, and I enjoy time to myself. He is both changing–and not changing– me. It’s in those places, I’m learning these truths:
time I didn’t respond. And especially if I didn’t respond to every single post.
But that isn’t the truth.
The lie is that I am unloving. The truth is that for several months now, I have felt the Lord speaking to me to protect my heart and disengage from trying to feel something about everything. I would sit down to catch up on news, and tragedy after tragedy kept coming across my screen. In that same moment, I would feel the Lord encouraging me to distance myself emotionally, but it felt so . . . not like Jesus. I’m learning, though, that what I was taught, or what I used to think, about who Jesus is and what He expects of me isn’t always accurate. I’m called to reflect the heart of God. I’m not called to be Him.
So yesterday, when I reached for my phone to put on my favorite podcast–Church of the City, NYC–I found the sermon, "Above All Else." Hearing this word drove another “stake” deeper into the ground of my heart. I could see more clearly what God is at work doing in and through me in this season of life.
There is a significant measure of distance between trying to know everything that is out there and burying our heads in the sand. I don’t have to read every article link. I don’t have to read every post. I don’t have to engage every single piece of information that comes my way. Just because I have the time to read the story doesn’t mean I am supposed to. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit–in what we take in and how we care.
Knowledge does not equal power. Part of being graced for battle is knowing not only our weapons of offense, but also knowing the tools of protection in the heat of warfare. Because this heart is the only one I’ve got, I’m going to protect it. And because it must remain tender as well as strong, I am not looking for formulas but I’m listening for the voice of the One who knows me best.
Watch the sermon, "Above All Else."
As a writer, Regina draws from her experiences with her own family, her work in education and her love for her local church family. The author of two books, Who Calls Me Beautiful and Designed by God, Regina was also a regular contributor to Our Daily Journey, an former online and print publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Regina has also written for Discovery Series, contributed to devotional compilations (God Hears Her, God Sees Her), and published with Church Planter Magazine as well as The Quiet Hour Devotional.