Personality tests are all the rage nowadays (i.e. the Enneagram Test, Myers-Briggs, Strengths Quest). All over social media you can find accounts that “type” people and outline the general traits of these different groups and what types work best where. Confusing, I know.
I will admit that it is easy to get caught up in the fuss of it all. It can be neat to identify what my strengths and weaknesses are, what I am prone to, and how I work with others. And yet, what I have discovered is that I do not need to go to a personality test to figure out how I should work alongside others or understand who I am.
I simply need to go to Scripture.
When God created man, he made man in his image–to reflect him. (Genesis 1:26) We were created to be like him, living in community with others who are also striving to look like Him — this is the Body of Christ. We get to impact one another and our world in many different ways because of our unique giftings. None of us are called to the same things necessarily, but we are called to serve.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
- Romans 12:4-5
How boring would this life be if we all had the same function? I do not know about you, but I would hate it if my best friends and I were identical! Part of why I love being best friends with Ana and Molly is because they have strengths in areas that I do not and vice versa. We are able to build each other up, pray for one another, and counsel one another through life all in different, but necessary ways.
In the body of Christ, there is no room for comparison. No personality or skill set is more valuable than the next. We have one command – to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). As members of the body of Christ, we are to be imitators of him (Ephesians 5:1).
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Ephesians 4:1-6
As Paul writes in Ephesians, the lives of Believers should look similar if they are imitating Christ: a life of humility, gentleness, patience, love, and eager to maintain unity. All of this is what marks the body of Christ. And we are to strive for this together! The Lord gives us community for a reason!
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
- Ephesians 4:11-16
In this life we need mentors, friends, discipleship, and community. It helps to equip us for ministry and to build up the body of Christ. As we learn and grow from the Believers around us, we can become more like Jesus. When we have loving correction from elders and peers, we are shaped to be more like Christ.
Regardless of your personality, your skills and talents, and life goals, you my friend, play a vital role in the body of Christ. If Christ is the head of your life and the center of your relationships, then your personality type given to you by an online test, does not need to bear weight on your identity. Your identity if given to you by the High King of Heaven who knew you before he formed you in your mother’s womb and who knows every hair on your head.
Now, how will you serve the body of Christ?