Is that the right label?

Have you ever taken one of those personality tests to tell you what your personality is?  It’s fun to see how the results line up with who you believe you are and how others see you.  They don’t always line up.  I’ve never had anyone take one of those tests on my behalf, but I’ve wondered if the results would end up the same if they did.  I wonder if the person I see when I look in the mirror or in my heart is the same person those around me sees.  I wonder if those tests are ever off because of the way we answer the questions.  I wonder if we ever answer them the way we wish we were or the way we wish others saw us.  And what about the setting factor.  I don’t know about y’all, but some of those questions really do depend on my comfort level in any given situation.

There was a question on a test I took this weekend that really highlighted that for me.  It was a question we were to answer based on five answers….strongly agree…agree…don’t know…disagree…strongly disagree.  It doesn’t matter what the question was, but in the season I am currently in…my answer was strongly disagree…hands down.  But, as I read the question, it hit me that a short 6 months ago, the exact question would have resulted in a strongly agree.  Does a quality in a person really shift that dramatically over the course of 6 months?  Do our circumstances and surroundings really have that major of an effect on us?  Apparently in that case…they do.  If they do…should they?  Which one was I designed to be on that question?  A strongly agree or a strongly disagree?  Is the person I am today based on that question the true me, or was the person I was 6 months ago the true me?  Or I am becoming someone totally different?

I took another quiz last week that wasn’t personality or interest driven.  This quiz was developed to determine your theological worldview.  It was pretty interesting to see how that one turned out.  It was interesting because I had never even heard of or at least didn’t know what several of the world views were that my beliefs lined up with.  At this point I don’t even remember what they were.  I was interested for a little while and then quickly became disinterested.  I decided it told me one thing.  Maybe, just maybe, we aren’t all that different when it comes right down to it.  Sure, it was obvious from the questions that there are some pretty major theological differences.  I can look around at all the people I know and tell you that, but maybe their labels don’t define them anymore than the labels I have been given accurately define me.  There were 3 theological worldviews that I scored around 70% on.  Makes me think they must not be all that different if my beliefs line up that consistently with all 3.  Maybe its the 30% that sets those beliefs apart from each other.  Then there was the category that I lined up with by 89%.  The funny thing is I didn’t even know what that one was or what they believed.  That was kinda crazy to me that I could line up with nearly 90% of a groups beliefs and not even know who they were.

I purposely didn’t reveal how I scored in each category.  I don’t want to be labeled by my theological beliefs.  Truth be told, they aren’t set in stone.  Sure, my core values and beliefs are, but God and His word are alive and active.  The last time I checked, things that are alive and active are growing.  Yes, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He never changes.  His word never changes.  But my understanding of it does.  My understanding of Him does.  It does because He is bigger than any box I could put Him in.  He is more than any label’s description could hold.  His truth is black and white, but my fallen understanding of it can sometimes cloud the blacks and whites to a whole other shade.

I love the diversity in the theological beliefs of the Christ followers in my life.  I wonder if our core beliefs aren’t what’s most important.  I wonder if all those things that separate us are just places one or the other has yet to explore with God.  I wonder if many of those differences are just the result of differing personalities, interests and gifting.  I wonder if they aren’t just a different part of the body with a different function.  I just wonder.  I don’t really have an answer.  I just know that God is much bigger than every one of these things.  I know He isn’t finished with any of us yet.  I know that He wired each of us a bit differently and set us each on a journey that would further shape us.

I’ll keep taking quizzes…they are fun.  They are valuable in providing some direction.  More than one I took this weekend provided clarity into why I handle certain situations the way I do.  That gave me peace in how I am designed and created.  The spotlight on the drastic difference 6 months and a setting can make  also pointed to change.  It pointed to the reality that labels don’t really define us…

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One thought on “Is that the right label?

  1. Carol Smith says:

    The words from your heart comfort my own heart as I undergo a big change in my life. I know that I have my own belief system, but situations through the years have changed it how I view things now. What used to be black and white and everything seemed a matter of salvation…well, it’s not now. My heart keeps changing the older I get. Yikes! Sixty…I’m actually looking forward to seeing what God has left for me over the next 20 years. I’m so thankful that He blessed me with you in my life. You have always been such a joy. I love you, Girl!

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