Our latest topic in MIC class is the Myers-Briggs personality types and how they affect our pastoral ministry. After an hour, I felt like we had a pretty good grip on which individual personality traits might affect which behaviors. In one sense, humanity and all of its intricacies in relationships seemed predictable. That notion, however, was shattered before the end of class. My class had done a particularly good job of falling into a major pitfall when it comes to these sorts of tests: labeling each other and pigeonholing each other into roles we were not comfortable in or had never experienced before.
Looks like we weren’t as predictable as we thought.
It can be kind of nice and disconcerting for someone to tell you who you are. I always find personality tests interesting because they can help me put my finger on some parts of my personality that I had a hard time understanding. This past summer at CPE, however, my supervisor’s supervisor was sitting with the five of us and proceeded to go around the room pointing at each of us and saying, “You’re an extrovert” or “You’re an introvert.” I wasn’t expecting his label to bother me, but when he said I was an introvert, I had a pushback. How do you think I am an introvert? Do you not know me?
I find comfort in the fact that, no matter whether someone points at you or whatever totals you might score on a test might say, we are more. It’s not necessarily that we are totally different (I do have an introverted side, after all, not too distant from my extroverted side) but that we are more. We are more than a piece of paper. We are more than a pointed finger. How cool is that?