A few months ago I came across a quick questionnaire that in ten minutes told me my personality “type”. I shared the quiz with my friends and family and they confirmed that the test was “accurate”. Many of them had done the longer version and were already aware of their personality proclivities.
I did not know “who” the test would say that I was. These types of things interest me but also raise my skeptical flag. I don’t like anyone to put people (especially me) in a “category”. I inherently think that stereo-types (while seemingly accurate at times) can be terribly unfair. I don’t want to…and I don’t want others to try to define who I am based on hypothetical responses! I may have checked a certain box…but that sure doesn’t mean that I will fit nicely inside of that box! At the exact moment that I am saying “this is how I feel/think/believe”…I can very easily see how someone else could feel/see/believe” something different…which makes me feel like I should check that box for their sake too!
Do you know how it feels when others think that they know you…and they don’t? When others base who you are on what they believe based on their previous interactions or past history or personal perceptions …and how they see you has nothing to do with you? Have you ever felt like you have been stuffed inside of a box? …Told, “This is who you are.” “This is how you should believe. ” “This is how you should feel.” “This is how you should act.”
I don’t do very well with that…with people who think that they know more than they do. Let me make something REALLY clear. I know that there are a lot of people who know A LOT more than I do…but they don’t know more about me than me. In my past, my reaction to people shoving me inside of their box has not gone well.
Picture with me a little chick peck-peck-pecking it’s way out of an egg.
Sometimes that is me. Sometimes that is you. We outgrow where we are and we must slowly and gently ease from one stage of development into the next. There is perhaps a little apprehension or anxiety about what comes next…maybe there is excitement…but it is part of the process.
Now picture a beautiful bird soaring high, singing songs, seeing for miles. Think of the bird eating when it is hungry and resting when it tired and flying when it wants an adventure.
And then it is captured. It is not a part of the natural process. It is actually the exact opposite.
It’s wings are clipped. It is kept in a small cage in a dark room. It is dependent on its captor for food and water…if it’s captor even cares or remembers to give it the sustenance that it needs. Stay with this thought for a few minutes. Think about that bird…what it was meant to do…how it was meant to live.
Go with it into the world …to the time when it was free.
Now go into the dark, smelly cage. The place where it is alone.
That is what we have allowed others to do to us.
How? When we are made to be free! When we are made to beautiful and sing and see!
And we are inside of a cage…
I am REALLY not ok with that. In fact, it makes me feel like an incredibly irritated “David Banner”. Do you remember him? He was a mild mannered man…until he got angry. And then he busted out. Not a little chick pecking out of its shell. He busted out of his clothes and his skin and turned into a giant green monster.
Think, “The Incredible Hulk”.
That is who I feel like right now. I want to start breaking things…like shackles…and cages that have been constructed to keep us prisoners. I want to turn over tables.
I see Jesus right now…indignant…disgusted! “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.’…(Matthew 21)
When I took the long version of the “Meyers Briggs” personality test in college I remember that I was in the “middle” for the four categories just barely leaning one way or the other. Which way I leaned I don’t recall. When I took the test again a few months ago it told me that I am an “INFJ”. I just this minute looked up “INFJ” and it took me to http://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality…. where it says,
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats (NF), they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
HELP ME HELP YOU
INFJs indeed share a very unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.”
It says much more too….but…dang. YES and YES. I accept.
Can I help you, friend? Do I have your permission to break down some walls that are keeping us from seeing the world that exists…the real world…the world that was meant for us but that we have not seen yet with our eyes? The world that was created for us to see…and soar and sing!
I think that somewhere inside of us, we all know that there is “another place” that is not “this place” that was made for us. And I am not talking about heaven. I am talking about here. Now. Our heart tells us that so much of what we have been told about who we are and why we are here is simply not true.
Stay with me for a while. I want us to start looking at some lies that we have accepted as truth.
I cannot fail to leave this part of the “Personality Test” story out. My 16 year old daughter is taking forensics in high school. She thought that it would be clever to look up the “crimes” most associated with our family’s personality types.
When she told me mine, I laughed. You might not think it is funny at all…but this is the definition of my “most likely” crime.
…if I were a criminal.
“Heresy – a belief or opinion that does not agree with the official belief or opinion of a particular religion.”
“opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.”
Do you know me yet? Do you see why I laugh?
Did God make that word…or did man? to make people who question afraid? Jesus did not go along with the religious leaders of his day, so I would say that I am in good company when I admit that I doubt what men say. What did God say about that…cause I really don’t care what you say…unless it is in agreement with God. And Jesus. And the Holy Spirit.
I will tell you that while I am sifting and searching and seeking for truth, I am not going to put back inside many of the beliefs that are espoused from the pulpits of every “Christian” religion today.
“Why am I?”
Before I can go any farther, I must ask you, “why did Jesus come?”
“To fulfill the prophesies and the law… to show us/ to model for us how to live…to take away the sins of the world…to take on our punishment and die in our place…to teach…to heal…to win the victory over death…to baptize us in the Holy Spirit… to give us power to do all that He did and more…to spread the Good News….” Yes. Yes. All of that and so much more.
But let’s see what Jesus said…Let’s see what Jesus says is his “Why?” When we know why our Savior came, then we will understand why we are here…to finish the work that he began.
Before Jesus started his ministry…the VERY first recorded lesson that he gave after he was Baptized by John and returned from 40 days in the wilderness… Before he called any disciples…we read in Luke 4:17,18 “And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED'”
Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophesies…
It matters that he told us exactly why He came. To preach the gospel. To let the captives know that they are released. To give us our sight again because we have been blind. To free us from the cruel treatment and control that has been our lives.
The King James Version of the Bible says the Luke verse in these words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised”
Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. We are all broken hearted…it is like our heart has been clipped. Jesus can heal that so that we can soar again…so that we can feel again. So that we can love again. So that we can live the full life that we are created to live.
Again, Isaiah 42:6,7 says,
“I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”
Jesus wants to mend us and show us. And free us. He came for that. But we have to accept that and know it to be true and ask for him to come to us and do for us what he wants so badly to do. He is the only one who can do it.
Jesus is a New Covenant.
That means something. It means everything. It means that when Christian preachers tell us that we are demented, deranged, awful, deplorable, sick, sinful, fallen creatures…it is not true. Do you hear me?
We were. We were.
We are not anymore…because we were bought at a huge price. We were bought so that we would not be that sick, sinful, fallen creature. If we think of ourselves as that creature then all that God has done…all that Jesus did…was for nothing.
God did not do what He did FOR US to leave us where we were. We are a new creation.
We are not Old Testament people anymore. We don’t have a tabernacle and a temple that is made of earthly materials. God is not in the Arc. He is not behind a curtain in the Holy of Holies. At the death of Jesus that curtain was torn. God is not inside of a box. Thank God! He is not in a temple or a sanctuary. He is in my a heart. And He is in your heart.
Why don’t the preachers tell us this? Why don’t the pastors tell us that because of God’s love that we are not prisoners? we are not captives? we are not broken? …
…Or at least we don’t have to be.
Unless we stay that way.
Unless we die in the shell without even trying to break out.
Unless we die in the cage even after the door has been sprung.
Jesus says to his disciples, his followers, TO US… “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:15-21.
Keep his commands.
Love him. Love each other.
Do you know that Jesus has left us a Counselor…the Spirit of Truth.
Do you know Him? Does much of what the world tells you feel like a lie? The world does not see our God and does not know our Savior and does not sense or hear our Counselor.
We hear the messages of conventional wisdom…from parents, teachers, friends, co-workers, pastors.
But what does God tell you? What did Jesus tell you? What is the Spirit of Truth telling you now?
We are beautiful. We are meant to fly. We are meant to be whole. We are meant to be free.
When we find out how to be free…then we are closer to finding out why we are.
Let’s keep going. Do you want to leave your cage? Go. Do not be afraid.
We are beginning a process to break out. It is going to be beautiful.