Personality Tests vs Freedom

Putting yourself under the thumb of any type of personality test is limiting. You have to view life under those confines. If you are a peacemaker according to your Enneagram, well, what if a situation arises that calls for you to fight for something? Peacemakers, by their very nature, don’t push any personal agendas. They push their own thoughts aside and focus on the dissenting views around them. They become an object, a bridge between opposing forces.

What if God calls a Christian with the Enneagram 9 peacemaker type to martyrdom? If a gun is put to his head, does he give up his ideas and faith; does he become an objective bridge, doing and saying whatever he can to dissuade the guy with the gun to put id down, all for sake of peacemaking?

Jesus came to bring peace on earth as Luke 2:14 says:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

But later on, in that very same book Jesus says in Luke 12:51:

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

So, what type of peace is He talking about?

John 14:27 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

He spoke this to His disciples who were later martyred for their faith.

Ephesians 6:15 calls all Christians to have, “your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”.

But that is one of many parts of the armor of God that must be worn to withstand the flaming darts of the evil one. Faith, truth, salvation, righteousness, and the Spirit are also very much needed for that.

Psalms 34:14 encourages us all to, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” 

And so, we must all be peacemakers, but also helpers and faithful. We must be extroverted in professing the truth around us in love, and in that love we should hate wrongdoing and love the truth (1 Corinthians 13) because it turns out, the Christian biblical love isn’t only forbearance. It has some bite to it! Tough love means telling the truth even if it hurts.

We must also be introverts meaning that we are slow to anger and at times even silent depending on the needs of the situation.

The peace-seeking of the bible is far more complicated than the objective-bridge-seeking peace that personality tests such as the Enneagram peg people into. With Christian peacemaking, there is a place and time for being that bridge, but there is also a place in time for seeking the peace of God which, in most cases, means being an enemy to the things of this world.

In the Enneagram, only certain people are called to peace, and that being an objective type of worldly peacemaking. In Christ, all are called to bring the peace of God in love… meaning at times, a tough love that hates wrongdoing and points it out.

Puzzle Me This?

Life is far more complicated than a personality test. These tests give us the lie of simple puzzle pieces and say, “Explain all of life in this way.”

Life isn’t a jigsaw puzzle. 

Puzzles are great fun through. They give us simple little worlds and pump dopamine into our brains when we find the perfect piece for the perfect place. Just keep that simple world on the coffee table.

Imagine a chessmaster who chooses to walk through a busy city as a knight on the chessboard would. What would it be like when he crosses the street? Would the “L” movement of a knight put him in mortal danger with oncoming traffic?

Follow the flow of life Mr. Chessmaster. Walk along the streets as others do. “But I play chess and only wish to move about in the ways that the knight does on the chessboard.” Any man who thinks this way needs help. Put him in a safe place such as an asylum. 

Personality tests do the same thing with our mind. They cripple us with their simplicity. They entrap us. Any situation that falls outside of what we know cripples our judgement. “Well, I’m a knight and I can only move in an L shape.”

Biblical Christianity is freedom of thought as well as heart. We are called to love the Lord our God with all of our mind, heart, soul, and strength… not just with the parts that we think make us up! We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. But who is ourselves? Are we only peacemakers? Do we only either think technically or emotionally?

Good luck taking tests, my dear, turns out you are a feeler. “But if I study hard enough I can–” “No! You’re a feelings emotional type! This means you can only move through life in that shape of things.” “But the test is calling me to learn all of these facts and use critical thinking to make my arguments.” “Your arguments must only have emotions… no critical thinking!”

MBTI gets around this by giving us a slider. It says that we have have a percentage that is thinking and the rest of the percentage is feeling. This completely negates the duality of the system. So, why even have a slider?

You shouldn’t always respond to life with what’s inside you. Your response should instead be based on the situation that is before you. Focus on what is outside of yourself. This is how the bible teaches us to be. This is why we are all called to seek peace, but not as the world gives. 

The peace of God is vastly more complicated. Throw the chessboard and puzzles away when it comes to life. Respond to it as the Spirit outside of our thinking and feeling leads us to be. 

It is in the God outside of ourselves that we find the truth. Lose yourself for His sake and calling. Be all things to all people. 

1 Corinthians 9

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

We are to be a useful obedient servant for the Lord’s sake, slaves to righteousness and free from the sin deep inside that so easily besets us.

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