It’s quite the thing, isn’t it? Those quirky little personality tests on facebook or elsewhere on the internet, telling us who we are as if we didn’t know. Most of us have done one some time in their life.
For years, I’ve known my “personality type” according to Myers-Briggs. INFP. Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. I’ve also had people tell me who I am. My introverted, feeling ways have made me seem like an unlikely leader. Before I left for the Philippines, someone in authority told me, “You are just not a leader”. That was interesting. For sure, I didn’t feel like a leader. I didn’t feel strong enough and I could see that I was not the charismatic, loud, center of everything type of person. In fact, I often retreated in big group situations. But something rose up in me that day and under my breath I said “You have no idea.” I believe now that was the Holy Spirit. God was calling me to something so outside of my personality and comfort zone, and I could not be boxed or limited by what Myers Briggs said, or anyone else for that matter.
“Stay in your lane” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot recently. This means stay in the place of your strength, of your talent and gifting and I do agree with this to some extent.
But my question is, who determines your lane? Is it you? Are you limiting what you will do because of what you believe about yourself? What if God wants you out of your area of comfort and strength, and totally cast at His feet in dependence? What if your lane is living an extraordinary, supernatural life?
I have been thinking about the disciples. What a bunch of personalities there!
Peter, the crazy go-off-at-the mouth, impulsive, people-pleasing one.
Thomas, the questioning one, who had to see it to believe it.
Simon, the Zealot who would rather die for what was right than live under wrong
John, the one intimate with Jesus, who loved to rest on Him and hear His heart.
And He says to this mixed lot, “Proclaim this message: ‘The Kingdom of heaven has come near’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons….” Matthew 10:7-8
Jesus didn’t say “I’m going to say something now John but don’t worry, this isn’t for you. I know you are an introvert and you really would rather just be with me. I know your personality type and you should stay in your lane. I’ll send Peter. He’s extrovert and he will go anywhere and say anything to anyone. It’s his personality.”
Quite the opposite. Despite the different personalities and giftings, Jesus sent out all 12 disciples. The introvert went as well as the extrovert to preach and demonstrate the good news of Jesus!
His command is still the same for us as it was for the disciples. In the same way, he is calling us to live supernaturally beyond our natural personalities and giftings. So many times, I’m in over my head and actually it is the best place to be. Here I know I have nothing in myself to make it work and God is going to have to do it. In our weakness, His strength is seen.
Stay in your lane? Our lane, no matter our personality, is obedience to Him.
Go! People are waiting for you!