You Are Not Your Wiring
During my senior year in college, I took a comprehensive personality and spiritual gifts assessment as part of a leadership position in our student ministry. The test accurately revealed that I was wired more toward reading and learning, teaching, and strengthening existing relationships in a discipleship environment. I was not a “people person”. I am not outgoing, I am not eager to make new friends, and I do not tend to approach people to start a conversation. In response to the results, my ministry director sat me down and told me, “this tells us about where you would serve best, but does not give you a pass to serve only in those areas.”
While personality tests might reveal our natural grids for interaction with others, they can also reinforce a quiet refusal to move out of our normal traffic patterns and stretch ourselves beyond our usual (and potentially) sinful way of life. We might naturally be an introvert or extrovert, but when these ways of relating become the sole determinant of our relationships with others, we might quickly find ourselves stuck in stubborn patterns of refusal to engage with others different from us. All of us must deny ourselves and our natural inclinations toward comfort and follow instead the pursuit of God’s calling for our lives as followers of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul addresses the Corinthian church on the topic of Christian freedom. As people now living under the Grace of God and not under the demands of the Law, we are freed from the many things that constrained us, whether they are cultural expectations or natural inclinations. Instead of using this freedom to suit our personal pleasures, Paul urges us to instead use it to relate to those around us. Though he speaks specifically of the Jews, the Gentiles, and the weak in this passage, he sums it up by saying, “I have become all things to all people.” In the same way, We are called to be a blessing to others and use our lives for the glory of the One who broke through every racial, personality, and cultural barrier to relate to us in ways that meet our deepest need. In all honesty, I am not incapable of holding a conversation with strangers, but I would rather not do it – ever. God, however, places His will above my preferences for His glory.
God has made every human being to be a beautiful reflection of His image in a unique and creative way. In an even more intimate and personal sense, He has set aside Christians to be “little Christs” in the world, those who are continually being sanctified and conformed to the image of Jesus, the perfect embodiment of God on earth. When God calls us out of our comfort zones in his service, this is a process of sanctification. We are becoming more like Christ in more fully and accurately imaging God to the world around us. So Christian, do not shy away from that which is difficult in doing what God has called you to do. As the One who created you, God knows your wiring better than you do! And He also knows where you need to grow better than you do. For Christians, the person God wired you to be is not as important as the person God is shaping you to be. Step out – trust God – Watch him work.
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