If you don’t already know it, ENFP is my personality type based upon the Myers-Briggs instrument for measuring a persons personality. Odd, isn’t it, that the entire half century of living my personhood can be summed up in four letters? I mean the very thought or process of quantifying a persons natural tendencies runs counter to the whole personality profile I read anyway. We hate processes and quantities!
The odd thing is that shortly after taking the test and receiving the results I was in a completely different setting, removed and disconnected from the M-B testing site, instrument or test partakers (at first I used the word “testees” but decided that wouldn’t work). It was not even remotely connected to the Myers-Briggs test, yet when I shook hands with a young intern who I had met months earlier, he looked me in the eye and said, “ENFP, aren’t you?” What, did someone tattoo the letters on my forehead in some ink only visible to the uber-hip and cool? If it was that obvious you could have just told me what I was and I wouldn’t have had to take the test!
So, I have begun to move in new circles where the Myer’s Briggs is used to help people in the process of discovery and self actualization on a regular basis. Most people are decent enough to ask me what my MB personality type is before they say, “I thought so” or “I knew that would be you!” OK, so the ugly truth is that everyone else on the planet knew who I was long before I ever knew. Go figure. I’ve been too busy chasing squirrels to worry about it.
So, the real truth of the matter is that I am eternally grateful for, not only the instrument itself but also for the insight to offer it and the encouragement to take it. For years, not too many to count but nearly so, I have felt that I was different than normal people and somehow deficient. I have cursed my fickle chasing of the latest and greatest crusade that strikes my fancy I have bemoaned my boredom to the point of catatosis at the every day pursuance of the type of tedium that seems to be the oil that lubricates life as we know it. I have felt like I was speaking an unknown language while expressing vision and dream to the caring and knowing elders who seemed to hold the mystical keys to the doorway of success and future only to have them shake their heads sympathetically as though I was touched, addled, deficient.
It feels good to know that while I am in the minority there are others like me. Long before I sought this insight someone had already prepared many of the answers on my behalf based upon observable aspects in others who came before me. It feels even better to know that my personality type has its uses and is even necessary to healthy functioning. Even better that my personality is celebrated for what it brings into the lives of organisms and organizations alike.
Only in recent years have I allowed the Holy Spirit to temper my personality type with elements that were previously foreign to it. I have begun to treasure things like patience, thoughtfulness and caution. Rather than cringing at criticism and running from it I have begun to embrace it as my best background to juxtapose my image of myself against in order to see conformity or incongruity with my goals as a Christ Follower.
Actually this whole experience has increased my faith. I have faith that I was created with intention and purpose. I am not a mistake, some divine experiment gone terribly bad. I have faith that God will not use me in spite of my personality, but rather He will use me because of it. That allows me to stop trying to change what I cannot change and to build on those areas where I lack. No more efforts or energy invested in not being me.