My oldest daughter is currently obsessed with the Myers-Briggs personality test. If you’re not familiar with this test, you can take an online version of the test here. There are four different areas in which you are categorized: Introvert/Extrovert, Intuitive/Sensing, Feeling/Thinking, and Judging/Perceiving, giving a total of 16 possible personality types. Last week my daughter requested that I take the test, and soon all five of us in the family had taken it. Here were our results:
- Dad – ENTP
- Mom – ISFJ
- Laura Anne – INTP
- Logan – INFP
- Autumn – ESFJ
There really were no surprises. Laura Anne is most like her father. Autumn is most like me, and Logan is about half and half. I think that Laura Anne likes this test because it somehow quantifies what she often feels – that she and her sister are exact opposites (as are my husband and myself!).
So how does this group of people with such different personalities manage to still be a happy family?
The answer is that what we have in common is far greater than our personality differences.
We have a common love for each other, a common goal of desiring a happy family, and a common focus on walking through this life in a way that pleases the Lord.
We are of one mind.
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2
We build each other up.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Our words should ONLY be used to build each other up.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
We practice kindness and forgiveness.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
We are not allowed to say bad things about each other nor intentionally cause strife.
“To malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men”. Titus 3:2
We treat each other the way we desire to be treated.
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31
Now do we practice all these concepts perfectly? Of course not. If you have siblings, children, a spouse, you know that is impossible. There are times I complain outwardly about my husband. There are times when one kid swipes at another in frustration. It’s summer. We’re together a lot, and there will be plenty of times that our personalities clash. However, we don’t let our differences serve as an excuse to ignore the principles that God has given us. He tells us how to treat each other – how He wants us to treat each other. To be pleasing to Him, we can not intentionally ignore what He says.
From personal experience, life is much more peaceful when we apply these principles. In the home, in the church, in life – God’s wisdom always wins.
He created each of us just as He desired us to be. Our differences are not an excuse to not get along. They are not an excuse to tear someone else down with our words. Our differences are necessary to glorify our heavenly Father as one complete body.
INTP? ESFJ? It doesn’t matter. You still have to be nice to your sister.
“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be?” 1 Corinthians 12:18-19