My previous post about people seeking to find their identity in the products they buy has brought up something else I’d like to write about. People like identifying themselves with something. They like categorizing themselves. One reason for that is it’s easier than deeper self-reflection and introspection.
I believe that life should be balanced between reflection and action. Mainly because that’s what Jesus’ life was like. Read the Gospels. He was definitely a man of action, getting things done–but he also took frequent breaks to go alone by himself to pray. Socrates said “An unexamined life isn’t worth living.” Of course, he eventually committed suicide with hemlock, but still, I hear he was a pretty smart guy.
So anyway, like most people, I like categorizing myself. Because of that, I know that I’m an enneagram type 4 and an INFP according to the Jung/Myers-Briggs typing system. I also recognize that part of the reason I have a natural affinity for this balanced, harmonious approach to life is because that is the natural bent of an INFP.
Personality typing isn’t without merit, in fact, I’ve found it to be an extremely helpful tool in my own spiritual and personal development. Helps me spot my own blind spots. It’s only a problem when you start thinking your type is who you are.
If you’re interested in learning about your personality type, I recommend a few resources. Similar Minds has probably the best and most comprehensive free online personality tests. If that seems too complicated, or if you have concerns about the spiritual aspect of it, you might try the spiritual types test at MethodX. (I’m a Mystic, not surprisingly.)
Your soul was designed for Paradise. Learning about your personality is essentially learning about the ways your soul has adapted to live in a fallen world. With those adaptations come particular strengths and weaknesses, which the people who study personality types have documented pretty effectively. Part of discipleship and spiritual formation is unlearning those adaptations to the fall, and relearning how to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.