I’ve done all the tests and connected a lot of dots. On the Myers-Briggs I’m an INFJ. My enneagram number is a 7. Or maybe a 3. Tests clearly indicate that I am a high introvert, and I’m either sanguine or phlegmatic, depending on the day. I’m a middle child so there’s that whole ball of wax. I’m definitely not a type A so I fall somewhere on the alphabet chain under the infamous A’s. And yes, I’m fully aware that the color yellow makes me look washed out.
My conclusion, finally, after all these years is that the tests have done one thing really well. They’ve kept me very focused on me.
What’s a good way to keep God’s people from going after God? Get them to go after themselves. Keep them looking for their true selves or the source of their broken or the reason they are the way they are. Convince them that if they can know themselves better they can be better or at least be ok.
Our enemy is not stupid and perhaps we are quite predictable. But there is a way out of this house of mirrors.
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord…” – Jeremiah 9:23-24
And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. – John 17:3
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. … – 2 Peter 3:18 (all emphasis mine)
We are distracted from our pursuit of knowing God by the pursuit of knowing ourselves and we are not better for it. Look around. For all of the testing and self-acceptance, self-care, and self-love being thrown around, we still feel like we are falling short of something; some invisible standard that has been set, a bar we can’t quite reach. We are still straining for something that makes us feel ok with who we are. Still feeling left out and left wanting.
The endless pursuit of self feels like the promise of a secret code that will unlock our happiness and let us breathe a sigh of relief at last. It’s a lie. We are not our best pursuit.
Jesus is our sigh of relief and the only reason we are ok at all.
Oh, that we might be a people wholly uninterested in ourselves, with our attention riveted on God. But in order to be that, we will first need to tell ourselves to get out of the way and quit blocking our view of Him.