Self-knowledge is vital to knowing God and serving him. But self-knowledge is hard, messy work. We don’t always like what we find.
This week I led a staff team from a local non-profit through a development exercise using the Gallup Strength Finders assessment. I was first exposed to this instrument in a D.Min. Class at Bethel Seminary in 2001. Although I’m not “certified” to use it in coaching, I enjoy using it informally to aid teams in understanding better who they are and how they can more effectively work together.
When we know ourselves better, we can begin to understand our impact on others. We can love our neighbors (including our co-workers) better. When we know more about how we’re “wired” we can also learn to listen more carefully to God. We can love God better.
Over the years, I have taken more than a dozen types of self-assessments: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Strong Interest Inventory Profile, the System for Identifying Motivated Abilities (SIMA), the DiSC Profile, the Firo-B, etc. Each one has revealed something about who I am and how God created me to relate to him and others.
But many of my early ministry struggles came from trying to be someone I could never be — more extroverted, more commanding, more daring, more creative. I looked around at others with whom I worked and felt they were just better somehow: more valued, more effective, etc. I began to be restless, unhappy, and dissatisfied with the very way that God had created me.
Needless to say those attitudes do not honor God who created me.
Self-knowledge is vital to knowing God. But self-knowledge is hard, messy work. We don’t always like what we find.
How do you respond to opportunities to learn more about yourself? What is your biggest temptation — to wish you were more like others or to be defensive about your “rough edges”? What helps you rest in being God’s beloved in Jesus?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!