Do you love personality tests? I love personality tests. Myers-Briggs, DISC testing, even the one that classifies you as an animal (I’m a lion, by the way). My favorite two are the Enneagram and the Fivefold Ministry Test. I’m an eight on the Enneagram and a Prophet on the Fivefold, and these two things help me feel known and exposed all at once.
But where I think personality tests can do us a small disservice is when we let them pigeonhole us into believing we can’t be other things. See, I’m an eight on the Enneagram, but I can also be incredibly loyal, which is the defining characteristic of a six. I can also spend time with ideas and solutions swirling in my head the way a five might, and I can veer toward a strong sense of right and wrong, the way a one does. If I read the description of an eight one time and let myself live into the strength of that description only, I’d become an archetype of a person. And I’m no archetype; I’m a living, breathing, changing, growing gal who is powered by the wind of the Holy Spirit and can move around within my gifts, weaknesses, and strengths.
You are not an archetype, and there isn’t just one people group that you are called to see, love, serve, and minister to.
Not just one group in this season, and surely not just one season for your whole life. I’ve made this mistake personally, to the detriment of my own soul and my relationships with others. If I can equip us with anything in this, it will be a prayer to see people, all of them, as God sees them, and the discernment to know which people He’d like us to spend time with, which people He’d like us to carry in our hearts.
What’s more, it will serve us well to remember that the people God has called us to love aren’t archetypes either. They’re whole people with complex stories. They’ve got strengths and weaknesses just like us; they’re not to be put on a pedestal or pitied for their problems. Just as God is mighty in us, He’s also mighty in them. Wasn’t this part of Jonah’s issue? He saw himself as better than the people of Nineveh. He saw them as evil instead of possibly on their way to redemption. You are not an archetype; you are not wired to only love one people group, and the people you are called to love are likewise not one-dimensional. This is an active, alive, and colorful story of redemption we’re all living here.
In this season of your life, the Father may be asking you to see and love those you interact with on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean you’ll only mingle with those people forever.
Mamas, He may be asking you to care for the hearts of your children today, but He is not benching you from ministry outside your home forever. You are not an archetype, and your capacity is not solely human; it’s endowed with the infinite power of the Creator of the universe. This means you’re going to be able to care for varied groups of people over the course of your life, sometimes more than one at a time.
In the name of Jesus, I believe that as your capability to love others rises, so will the level of abundance you experience.
The hope is that after we take ourselves out of the running, we will start with a love and a burden for others that increases our understanding of God and how He loves all of us, and that this will spur us to action, to act like the ambassadors of Christ we are. Let’s not get tripped up in the who, but rather let’s be compelled by compassion for all the people our Father lets us see, learn from, and love, because He first loved us.