Personality Test Trap

If you’re on FB, I’m sure you’ve seen the waves of various personality tests that show up. You can see which four letters based on the Meyers-Briggs categories you fit into…or if you’re a ‘visionary’ or ‘encourager’ or ‘leader’. I love psychology. I love personality theory. I have an incomplete Psych degree that I’d love to finish one of these days, in God’s timing. I am passionate about seeing people have the ‘ah ha’ moments that explain the reasoning why they do the things they do. It’s empowering. It helps you to not feel so crazy at times and is a way to relate to other people.

But I feel like these tests should come with a disclaimer: “This test does not give you the freedom to use the results as an excuse”

I’m an INFJ…on the line of an INFP. It’s one of the rarer types and I often find it tricky to connect fully with other people. But that doesn’t mean that it gives me permission to stop trying. Just because the test says I’m an introvert doesn’t mean that I can hide behind it and avoid people. Yes I definitely need my alone time to process and recharge but GOD still says I’m to love people and be used by Him as a vessel of His presence .

An INFJ/P is the idealist perfectionist. But as my theme for this 31 day series is ’31 days in the life of a recovering perfectionist’, just because I’ve had the label ‘INFJ’ attached to me, doesn’t mean that I can use it as an excuse. I still am required to recognize how God made me and realize that HIS power is made perfect in my weakness. As I’ve written in my previous post ‘An Audience of One’, perfectionism in itself isn’t bad. But as with everything in life, it has to be brought into alignment with God. I can’t say ‘I’m a perfectionist and that’s just how I am so I HAVE to not spend time with God today (or go serve others at a volunteer event…or spend time with family) because if I do I won’t have time to write a blog post…and I HAVE to have 31 because otherwise ’31 days of writing’ won’t be perfect if there are only 30, or 29…or 28 etc.’

Personality tests show us just how much we need God in our lives. For patience, if our personality tends to not be overly patient. For strength, grace and love when dealing with others because our personality gets easily drained when being around people. For the ability to step out of our comfort zone in faith because our personality tends to want to play it safe.

I used to be much farther on the J side, but I believe that as I’ve allowed God to mold me and ‘balance’ me, that He’s brought me closer to the P because I’ve allowed Him to take over areas of my life that I used to be extremely clenched on to.

We also have to make sure we don’t allow the enemy to use our type against us. ‘You’re an introvert and awkward around people so that’s why they don’t like you’. ‘You’re a free spirit personality and that’s why you’re never going to be successful because you can’t stick to a schedule to save your life.” Anything that makes us feel inadequate and less than the masterpiece of God that we are is a lie from the enemy. God made us for a purpose and our job is to seek His direction and allow Him to reveal to us what that purpose is. Even if it doesn’t line up with what the world considers ‘normal’!

I pray for freedom from the ‘personality test label’ trap. If you have been told all of your life that you’re not good enough or not talented or are stupid, I pray for God to heal those areas of your heart and that He’ll reveal to you HIS beautiful blueprint for why He created you the way that He did. May this be a turning point in your life that unleashes a whole world of possibility that you never knew existed!

Write 31 Days Personality Test TrapImage Credit: Emily Gluntz

10 thoughts on “Personality Test Trap

  1. I don’t like labels on people either.
    Having a special needs daughter, I am very sensitive to categorizing people.
    And I try to limit my time on facebook because I think it also contributes to comparisons a lot.
    Very well said.

    1. Yes! I used to be very much into categorizing and analyzing different types…which again can be helpful to understand where people are coming from but it locks people into boxes! We’re so much more than that. Thanks Tonya for taking a minute to read and comment 🙂

  2. This is an important point we don’t hear nearly enough. It’s the same with the whole introvert/extrovert thing – I am very happy to cocoon in my own home and not deal with people much at all, but God gave us people to minister to, so I have to seek His grace to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.

  3. Oh, does this resonate. I’m an INTP, but close to the F end of the spectrum. It IS hard work to shed perfectionism, and I’m not there yet. But God brings me closer bit by bit. Thanks for the reminder that our plans need to be brought into alignment with our relationship with God. So glad I found your blog today!

  4. There is such truth here, regardless of what our personality type is. The first two years I did the 31 day challenge I made myself not scramble to catch up – purposefully leaving a couple days undone, due to my own perfectionist tendencies. It was a blessing in the end.

  5. Great explanation of this! My husband and I used to feel quite strongly about these personality labels, and we avoided tests like this. But for some reason a few years ago, I started wondering why we react so differently to certain situations. In the study of it,I determined it had its base in personality type. As I studied his personality type labeled “melancholy”, I was able to build him up by appreciating the strengths this personality type demonstrated. It was a very freeing exercise, but you are exactly right no excuses for not allowing the Holy Spirit to bring strength from our weaknesses.

  6. I think the interesting thing about personality tests (for me) is that it brings me face to face with things I already know. Of course no one wants to think about their imperfections, but as Christians, we are called to be following God IN ALL THINGS- including the areas we find difficult. When personality tests remind me of the things I have difficulty with, I am reminded that unless I’m working on it, it’s still going to be there.

  7. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, too. I can see how both myself and other people use personality tests to define themselves, but that’s not usually a good thing. Thank you so much for this, Erin! Even if there haven’t been posts every day (which is completely okay and normal and healthy, even), I have greatly enjoyed all of your posts.

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