There is no doubt that we, as the psalmist proclaims, “are fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are incredibly complex creations. When we consider our whole being, body, mind, and soul, there is still so much we don’t understand. This makes utilizing what we do just good sense. This is never truer than when we consider our temperament, personality, gifts, abilities, love languages, and sort.
Some in the church avoid the arena of psychology like it is a form of black magic. However, understanding our unique wiring is at the heart of our relationship with God and others. God desires us to love Him holistically and love others with a Christ kind of love (Matthew 22:39). Therefore, discovering our temperament, personality, gifts, and abilities is not only a wise idea but is a necessary part of loving God and doing life well with others. It is not mere psychology by deep theology.
The ancient sage writes, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The heart here refers to the center of one’s life and orientation to God, from which a person does all thinking, feeling, and choosing. The heart is the core of our being.
Taking words of wisdom into the heart is vital. Wisdom’s presence in the heart is worth guarding because out of the heart flow all the thoughts and words and choices in a person’s life. Again, it only makes good sense to learn all we can about temperaments, personalities, gifts and abilities, and love languages, and everything else that gives us insight into our unique wiring and that of others.
Human relationships are complex in their nature. We all coexist in a world where conflicts occur, and differences exist. Then, consider the complexity of each of our inner worlds. How we manage the external and internal stressors of life has a profound impact on the quality of our relationships.
We need the help of the Spirit and all the wisdom and insight God will grant us to relate to one another rightly. We are called to love one another (John 13:34). We are to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10). And we are to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13). I have heard it explained that we are to bear with one another because sometimes we act like a bear, challenging to be around. We need to put the pieces of biblical principles and insights into our wiring together to see our personal lives and relationships with others grow and flourish.
I began my journey of studying temperaments, personalities, and the such when I was in High School. My church family was committed to using every tool at their disposal to grow in relationship to God and others. Over the past three and a half decades, I have learned much about myself and others. I can’t claim that I have avoided all relational conflicts, but I can say that I have been thankful to have the knowledge of such things in my toolbox.
My father-in-law is a gifted craftsman. He has a saying that, “You can do anything if you have the right tool.” I am not sure that is true in my case, but I get the point. It certainly has been true in my connecting with others. My understanding of myself has allowed me to monitor my emotional health, the way I treat others and make course corrections when I have gone off course. My understanding of others has provided me the tools to care for them better and offer greater empathy when things are difficult. In short, putting the unique human wiring pieces together has been used by the Spirit to lead me toward ever-increasing Christlikeness and strengthening my relationship with others. After all, who doesn’t want that? Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!