This post is written by Katie Orr and is published as a companion to Unit 15, Session 4 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 5 (Fall 2022): From Rebellion to Exile.
Every decade or so, it seems, a new and “revolutionary” personality test pops up within popular culture. Perhaps the tool has been around for a while, but a resurgence occurs, bringing its evaluative insights to new groups of people.
The Personality Test Trend
Many of these personality tests provide in-depth understanding into a set number of particular types of people. The test-taker answers a series of questions. The assessment in turn confers the person a number, moniker, or category which they fall under, thus placing them within an identity they can learn more about. Some tests allow for a combination of the finite boxes, providing a bit more comprehension of the individual’s makeup.
Other programs produce a spectrum of different attributes. Instead of being one of nine different types, or understanding your three top components, these types of tests provide a more flexible way to understand who we are. Instead of being pegged as a particular type, all are presented as having the same basic components of being. We all have the same access to the different personality parts. What makes each of us different is the percentage of energy we have available to spend on each ingredient of who we are.
Some of us possess seemingly endless energy to hold strong opinions, while others become stressed over having to take any type of stand. There are people who love to care for and nurture people—they receive much joy and revitalization through helping meet physical needs. Yet (though their love for people may be the same), there are others who do not have the same energy for serving people in this concrete way. The life-of-the-party type holds a deep reservoir of charisma and warm interactions with people. Some draw freely from the well of attention and laser-like focus when it comes to completing tasks.
There are tremendous differences between individuals, as there are vast and varied combinations of what we have capacity for. This is what makes us who we uniquely are. Over time, our personalities can shift and change as the Holy Spirit shapes us through the sanctifying activity of the Word of God in the context of our individual circumstances.
Our Limitlessness, God’s Perfection
These extensive differences in personalities give us a glimpse into being made in the image of God. Though each of us are limited in our ability and energy to tackle different situations in life, God is a hundred percent capable in every level. Though we wear out and lose steam—even in the elements of life in which we thrive—God is endless and all powerful. The best parts of each of us point to His perfection. We reflect His character as we thrive in life.
But it is not only in our achievements that we see the character of God. If we could collect all the positive parts of every human being and place them into one person, it would still fail to represent the fullness of the perfection that is God.
Our weaknesses point to His completeness. The places we lack reveal to us His abundance. God never tires. He does not fail. He always triumphs. God is the model of personality perfection. The latest, greatest personality test may be fun and insightful, but for the Christian, understanding ourselves better must not be the end goal.
We each carry who God is within us. So, to seek out who we are is to ultimately seek out who He is. He is the complete one. He has perfect ability in all things. He holds the capacity for endless performance in every personality type. As we understand ourselves better, we can better recognize the image of God within us and, therefore, glorify Him as we live and use our uniqueness.
Katie Orr is the author of Secrets of the Happy Soul: Experience the Deep Delight You Were Made For, seven FOCUSed15 Bible studies, and is the creator of the Bible Study Hub community where you can receive training, encouragement, and accountability to enjoy God’s Word. Katie, her husband, and their three children live in central Florida. Learn more about and connect with Katie at katieorr.me.