On the Myers/Briggs test I am an EFNP.
On the RightPath test I am a Networker.
If you are familiar those tests, you see my results reveal that I am highly relational. In fact, I once met with a life coach who examined my tests and told me: “You test as one of the most relational people I’ve ever seen.” As excited as I was by that comment, she told me that includes some great strengths, but also some glaring weaknesses.
I keep learning about that and in doing so, it’s changing my life and ministry.
I used to have a roommate who was brilliant with technology. One time I walked into his room to ask him a question, and he snapped at me. I was taken aback. You see, I am the guy who always has multiple things going on at once. Music. TV. Something is always going on. He looked at me and said, “Sorry man, I don’t do two things at once well. I need to wrap this up before I can talk with you.” Gotcha. I am not wired like that, and he reminded me that God wires us all uniquely.
A student shared something really deep and personal with a ministry friend and me. I held onto it, and when I brought it up a few days later, my friend said, “It’ll work itself out.” He was not troubled by it at all. As we talked, we realized that the day God handed out empathy, he was not first in line. I evidently was. We hear the same story and react differently to it based on how we are wired. Fascinating.
One summer while on a college beach project where college students go to grow in their faith, I was hanging out in our common room. I was listening to some killer 80’s hair metal having a good time playing rock star in my mind. And then a guy in my room came in and just turned it off. I was mad. He looked at me and said, “When I hear that, it reminds me of the person I used to be, the person I am trying to move on from.” Huh. That didn’t pop up in my head when I heard that. I learned about convictions in a new way and how we process them.
I share all that to make a simple point. Knowing yourself and others is huge in life and ministry.
While I was consulting with a student pastor recently, he shared some frustration he has with some young leaders on his team. As we unpacked it, one obvious discovery was that he was not clear on how his leaders are wired, yet he had expectations that might not fit. We landed on the need for him to better understand how they are wired and how that fits into their ministry. Simple, yet profoundly important.
Take time to consider how God has wired you and those around you. It will help you extend and receive grace in critical ways.