It's true, I've taken personality tests before—there is something endlessly fascinating about trying to understand one's self. Usually I've been skeptical of the answer; nothing has ever quite fit, and how can a short quiz tell me about myself anyway?
This time I laughed again, but the 'ring of truth,' as my sister sung out, had never quite sounded so clearly. I can't help but own the label: ENTJ.
An ENTJ's diagnosis
Inefficiency—'an elaborate sabotage... of irrationality and laziness'? Indeed! Strong will? I don't lack it. Energy, self-confidence and strategic thinking are mine too, most of the time—at least when my brain doesn't go missing. (This does happen rather too often.)
My little sister lapped up the weaknesses I read out to her: stubborn, dominant, intolerant, impatient, arrogant, cold, ruthless, poor handling of emotions; all extreme expressions of tendencies of mine—feel the burn.
Wonderful thoughts after the diagnosis
Such an outcome turned out to be a shining light though—even if the bad things, like headstrong to a fault, did and do stick out to me. It revealed words and names for things I'd never quite understood about myself. The report was uncompromising in the way it termed things. It was scary.
Yet, it thrilled me to think about the complexity of being human, of being alive! I know just how complicated and difficult I am, even more so now, but to think everyone on this earth is equally complex too! It's amazing.
We are all in this together
Everyone thinks and feels and learns and grows and deals with things differently. We all have personalities (these may or may not be well-defined by an online test). We all dream and think and hope. We are more than what we do. We are more than the material and we are altogether human.
This is a marvelous thought. It is a thought to dwell on and come back to in the travel through life.
Treatment for self-centredness
When I took the personality test I did so for the fun of spending time with my sister. I did it to share in the sharing of life as she read her results out to me. I didn't expect so much clarity from just another page of the billions on the internet.
The label of ENTJ in no way defines my life or even explains the most of it but it has helped me put myself and others into perspective. It has helped me to renew my energy against the default self-centred 'my way is right' position which comes too easily. I am one out of many types of people; not the boss, not the best, but only one of the many parts which make up the whole of humanity.
The hope for remission
Learning more about myself has allowed me to learn more about other people. It has left me with a desire to practice more generosity and graciousness towards others. In the past this has been hard for me—I have grumbled a lot about it before and at times have been extremely self-righteous.
Yet it is only right that I, that we, practise such grumbling, growing generosity, even when it is hard.
We can and must learn to do this knowing that all people are made in the image of God. We are all on equal footing before God, though our personalities differ. We all are equally deserving condemnation for our sin; all equally reflecting His characteristics, though broken and dimly in our lowly state; all equally called to trust in Him, to believe in Jesus Christ alone for salvation—our only hope for restoration to God in this complex and challenging world.
God knows more than an online test
Really, I know so little about myself. A personality test has helped me more than I thought it would but knowing the One who made me has helped all the more.
The God of the Bible ultimately gives the most accurate assessment of who you and I are, so while we learn we needn't rely on ourselves. In our weaknesses God our Creator is strong; powerful to save and to change us for His glory. He can make even this naturally rational and prim ENTJ full of emotion and love towards God and man.
Irenie How is young yet, by the grace of God, was saved while she was running away from and fighting against Him. God showed her that He is the Lord and she wants you to know this too. After becoming a Christian she finished studying to become a graphic designer and as this she currently works full-time in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Irenie How's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/irenie-how.html