This summer I have been trying to read through a small pile of books that I have been meaning to read ever since I entered into Fuller Seminary. I just finished reading through Please Understand Me by David Kiersey and Marilyn Bates which was loaned to me by a friend. It is an interesting book about the different character types and temperaments of people, with both authors delving into the complex relationships between different personality types. It uses the Myers-Briggs test to first show you what type of person you are and then it moves into an in-depth explanation of what that means. It not only reveals about yourself, but also about all of those people who do not act similarly to you. The main purpose of the book is to show that other people act differently not because they are illogical or horrible, but because they are wired differently. Their temperaments are geared differently and will produce different results in the world.
Coexistence amidst diversity.
That is what I took away from this book. We should learn to understand people, those who act the exact opposite and appreciate their different vantage point. Once that appreciation has been cultivated, we can then learn to work with each other, benefiting from their strengths and understanding our weak points. I am an ISTJ, which is typically more stable and steadfast. The authors would even call my type The Rock of Gibraltar or a stable pillar of society. As awesome as that sounds (and believe me, I am awesome…), I need to have other people around me who will force me to bend every so often. I am attracted to other types who are the opposite of me because they are different and have something that intrigues me. They might be more outgoing than I am and are the life of the party. The difference between the two of us might be great, but our personalities will help each other in the long run. While I might anchor that person in my stability, they will be able to loosen me and make me enjoy spontaneity more often.
Now, what does that mean for the Christ-follower? Check out mynext post.