Character Assessments Don’t Excuse Your Sin

Character Assessments Don’t Excuse Your Sin


I by no means thought a lot in regards to the phrases “extrovert” and “introvert” till I obtained married and questioned why my partner and I have been so totally different. Take Sunday, for instance: essentially the most social day of our week. My husband is the pastor, and we are sometimes assembly guests after companies. He appears to thrive on such a interplay—plus, he’s actually good at it. The concept of strolling as much as a bunch of recent folks and becoming a member of in on their dialog energizes him.

I, then again, have typically discovered refuge by prolonged stays within the restroom. This fashion I can keep away from the awkwardness of assembly new folks and working out of dialog matters, whereas additionally not showing egocentric.

It will be straightforward for me to excuse this option to keep away from assembly folks with the reason that I have a tendency towards introversion. However is it okay for me to draw back from folks as a result of it makes me uncomfortable?

You could have seen a serious emphasis over the previous few years on discovering your character sort or Enneagram quantity. A lot of this analysis has been extremely useful. Figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of your character (and the personalities of these round you) can allow you to higher relate to these in contrast to you.

Christian proponents of checks just like the Enneagram affirm their worth to diagnose our weaknesses and encourage us in Christlikeness. “The power of the Enneagram is that it exposes the place we’d want therapeutic and what vices is perhaps inflicting division with others and even inside ourselves,” John Starke writes. “As Christians, we use the Enneagram as a instrument to search out therapeutic not by changing into our true selves however by discovering ourselves extra really in Christ.”

However I’ve seen one other facet to this well-intentioned journey of self-knowledge. Typically, as a substitute of utilizing our personality-test outcomes as a instrument, we will virtually view them as an infallible declaration of who we’re and the way we’ll act. Even worse, we will use them as an excuse for sin.

Myers-Briggs Made Me Do It

It’s tempting to suppose the explanation I didn’t need to meet new folks was as a result of it’s merely not in my make-up. However that wouldn’t be solely true. Usually, I don’t need to due to sin. I don’t like feeling awkward, so I can attempt to move my selfishness off as “simply a part of my character.” Sure, it’s uncomfortable for me to open up, attain out, and welcome folks into my life. However that doesn’t imply I can ignore God’s command to like my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:31).

Character is a present from God—as a lot part of you as your arms or arms. However whereas personalities are designed by God, one thing occurred 1000’s of years in the past that adversely affected all personalities. We name it the autumn of man. Due to the autumn, all people at the moment are marked by sin, and what God has given as a great present we’ve typically was a instrument for revolt.

As a substitute of utilizing our personality-test outcomes as a instrument, we will virtually view them as an infallible declaration of who we’re and the way we’ll act. Even worse, we will use them as an excuse for sin.

Having Myers-Briggs checks outcomes that declare us shy or daring, rational or intuitive, relational or solitary can, used wrongly, lend legitimacy to our sin. Will an extrovert take their check outcomes as a free move to be boisterously loud or blunt in conversations? Or will they prayerfully ask God to make them fast to listen to and gradual to talk (James 1:19)?

In case your Enneagram outcomes reveal you’re vulnerable to suspicion, does this imply you’ll by no means ask God to offer you a love that believes all issues (1 Cor. 13)? Or in case your outcomes reveal you’re a people-pleaser, will you ever search freedom from the bondage of this vice? Or will you resign your self that you just’re caught with the worry of man as a result of that’s what the check reveals (Prov. 29:25)?

If you’re not a confrontational individual, what’s going to you do with the scriptural command to exhort each other day by day, lest you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13)?

If being with others drains you mentally and emotionally, will you reject the “each other” necessities of Scripture? Are all of us known as to proof the fruit of the Spirit? Or are you solely required to proof the fruits of endurance, peace, and pleasure in case your Enneagram quantity reveals a propensity towards them?

Briefly, does character ever excuse sin?

In Christ, There Is Neither 1 Nor 9

Given the pervasive presence of sin, is there any hope that our vastly totally different personalities may ever deliver glory to God? Sure! Inside the church, God has blessed his folks with a wide range of various presents with a purpose to construct up the entire physique (1 Cor. 12:4–31). We are able to rejoice in our distinctive traits and people of the believers round us. We are able to additionally affirm that, for the Christian, neither sin nor character is final: redemption is.

In Christ, God has made us into a brand new creation and is altering us to be like Jesus. We “have placed on the brand new self, which is being renewed in data within the picture of its Creator” (Col. 3:10).

Even now, God is at work to redeem your character for his glory. He has created you to glorify him and love others with the distinctive strengths and weaknesses of the character he’s given you.

If you’re a daring extrovert, you should utilize that facet of your character to champion your personal plans, or you possibly can prayerfully and unapologetically mobilize folks for gospel ministry. Or maybe you’re extremely shy and introspective. It’s possible you’ll really feel intimidated by the daring leaders round you. But God has given you a quiet character completely suited to achieve out to these combating ache no person else appears to note.

What’s extra, once we are joined to Christ, the unity we share with different believers permits us to say, “Right here there is no such thing as a extrovert or introvert, no Enneagram 1, 5, or 8 with a 7 wing, however Christ is all and in all!” (cf. Col. 3:11). It’s not as if our character variations disappear or stop to matter once we grow to be Christians. However the unity we get pleasure from in and due to Jesus makes our character variations pale as compared.

Higher Benchmark

Whereas character checks generally is a great tool to assist me higher perceive myself and others, and so love and serve these round me with higher thoughtfulness, they will by no means change God’s Phrase.

Slightly than measuring our conduct in opposition to our personality-test outcomes, let’s be sure you measure ourselves in opposition to Scripture. God instructions each believer to be affected person, to indicate hospitality, to exhort, to be gradual to anger (1 Cor. 13; 1 Pet. 4:9; Heb. 3:13; James 1:19). He doesn’t inform solely extroverts to indicate hospitality. And he doesn’t inform solely introverts to be gradual to talk.

In Scripture, God shows a plan for pervasive holiness—for all of his folks. The Bible’s instructions present a greater benchmark for our hearts and lives than any character check. For as a substitute of focusing primarily on who we’re, Scripture focuses on who Christ is. As a substitute of telling us how we’ll naturally act like our sort, Scripture guarantees supernatural power—the Spirit at work in us to empower us to behave like Jesus Christ.

Granted, the best way we reside out these instructions will look totally different from one believer to a different. However the response to every command needs to be the identical for all: faith-filled obedience as we depend on the Holy Spirit’s assist—not our character—for power.

My character doesn’t excuse my sin. As a substitute, God can use my character for his glory and for my usefulness in his kingdom.

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