Do you like to take those personality assessment tests? You know, the ones that help you figure out if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert? A decisive planner or more spontaneous and unpredictable? The results can be helpful, but the thing that always surprises me is the amount of insight that those simple questions and answers can offer to people who are interested.
There is a certain sense in which Paul can also help us evaluate our tendencies or preferences. Only his assessment helps us to look at qualities which demonstrate how our faith is becoming evident in the way in which we live. Here are some of the suggested areas for your consideration:
- Grounded in the Lord . . . Waivering, unsteady faith
- Reasonable, agreeable. . . Argumentative, reactive
- Joyful, positive. . . . . . . . . Pessimistic, complainer
- Gentle, patient, kind . . . . Thoughtless, impatient
- Anxious, worried, fearful . Peaceful, trusting, prayerful
- Thankful, appreciative . . . Envious, ungrateful
It is a good thing to remember that God is the One who is at work in you. Where did Paul remind you of this truth in this letter? As you choose to let Him work out His loving desires in your life, you just may find that your reactions and responses are changing. Unlike our personality preferences which are part of our permanent DNA, the Holy Spirit indwells us and enables us to change our way of thinking and our way of living, day by day.
The big question is “what direction are you headed?” How is your inner “GPS” working these days? Can you hear that still small voice advising you to turn around and recalculate or is He giving you the power to keep on moving forward?
What a wonderful faith check list, Marilyn. This lesson’s verses have to be some of my most favorite. I even have a t-shirt that has printed on it…”Be anxious for nothing”. I suspect many grapple with anxiety as I do by the various comments that come my way when I wear the shirt.
It’s made more than one opportunity for me to share the bible with someone.
It also helps to see listed what are the opposites of anxiety….what qualities to strive for.
I would like to share with you a little technique that helps me to strive for
peace, trust and prayerfulness. Let’s see if I can express it in writing.
I learned three keys from a cd lesson on the book of Ruth. The example was made by Naomi, the mother in law.
What I remember is the title of one lesson:
Remember, Return and Repeat. I’ve used those three words many times as a tool to keep myself on track. It describes the time when Naomi had lost her husband and her sons and she was in a foreign land and felt there was a distance between herself and God. She REMEMBERED when she was close to God in her home land and at peace, she (and Ruth) RETURNED to that land and began living AS SHE HAD BEFORE.
That’s a very short version.
Remember the time when you were close to God and what it felt like.
Return to that aspect or the setting in your mind….often through prayer.
Repeat the way you thought, and things that you did in that time you’re remembering.
…..and soon you’ll be back on track.
When I become too distracted, I remember the three “Rs”
I really enjoy those assessment tests. I worked as an administrator of those tests at a career school. They were a great benefit to those who seemed lost as to what direction to go. I have found over the years though, that those assessment tests limit what are full potential in God can be. I have gone outside the assessment test box in my life and found I am able to do far more than the assessment test lead me to believe.