I was out on a walk the other day listening to a podcast, Kindled, on my headphones. I highly recommend it for Christian women entrepreneurs.
As I was huffing and puffing, arms pumping to keep up my pace, the host was talking to her guest about the driven nature of their shared personality type. On the Enneagram this type is known as a 3, in the Your Authentic Personality world, it’s the Doer. They were getting all chummy, bonding over their workaholism, when the host said, I want to be “less of a 3 and more like Jesus.”
And without even thinking about it, I yelled, “No!” in this crazy slo-mo scene right there in the middle of street because they had touched on, actually stomped on, one of my soapbox issues. It’s best summed up in the form of a question:
Why do we think we have to be less of ourselves to more like Jesus?
IS THERE A RECIPE FOR CHRIST-LIKENESS?
Less sin in my life. Sure, that sounds more like Jesus. Sign me up for that. Fewer weaknesses in me. Yep, that sounds more like Jesus too, since He didn’t have any of those. But less of our personality type, is that what it takes to be more like God?
And by the way, which personality type are we supposed to be more of, if we are to be more like Jesus? Is there a personality type that is more Godly than the others?
Or, are we supposed to be ALL of the personality types to be more like God and if so, in what way and in what proportion? Is there a special recipe for a Godly personality type, like subtract some Doer (the bad parts of course) then add a dash of Connecter, a bit of Improver, and an appropriate amount of Stabilizer?
Could we get away with just a couple of types so the math is easier? For example, Improver + Stabilizer = Christ-like. Would that be enough?
Here’s what I think:
Your Authentic Personality + Christ = Christ-likeness.
YOU “ON GOD”
God created you with your personality for a reason. He wired it right into your DNA. He doesn’t want you to be someone else. He’s got someone else for that.
All He asks is that He infuse you fully. His presence will make you more like Christ. When you are “on God” your strengths will get stronger and your weaknesses will get weaker. Your personality won’t become more dilute, instead it will become a more concentrated version of what He intended all along.
As David Benner said in The Gift of Being Yourself, “As we become more and more like Christ we become uniquely our own true self.”
MORE OF YOUR TRUE SELF
So I say, be MORE of a 3 or a 7 or a 1 or a 9! Be MORE of a DOER, or a CONNECTER, IMPROVER, or STABILIZER, whatever Authentic Personality blend you’ve been made to be. Why? Because this is what God wants, just listen to His words:
We do not belong to those who shrink back (Hebrews 10:39).
Stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back (Isaiah 54:2).
Do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded (Hebrews 10:35).
Get out there and be more of who God made you to be. Trust me, you’ll need more of Christ to do this.
- If you are a Doer, show up and demonstrate a powerful expression of God.
- If you are a Stabilizer, stand up and reflect a peaceful expression of God.
- If you are an Improver, step up and reveal a precise expression of God.
- If you are a Connecter, rise up and shine a positive expression of God.
We need more of God in this world. We need to see all the expressions of His comprehensive image and that happens through you.
YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
And yes, you will still have weaknesses. You are sinful and fallible and will stumble and fall and need God’s grace to cover you. You are being transformed into Christ-likeness, meaning that sometimes your strengths will go overboard and turn into weaknesses. It can happen to the best of us because no one has arrived on this side of heaven.
But the answer to being more like Christ is not found in being less of yourself. It is found in owning your sins and admitting your weaknesses. It is found in accepting your limitations and leaning on God and others to make you complete (1 Corinthians 12). It is found in demonstrating the humility and nobility of your authentic self.