Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Personal Assessments and Sinful Nature

I have not made a post in quite a while, and I actually feel quite bad about it. However, the last few weeks have been very fast-paced and filled with work and school. I do hope to have a few posts this week to give you something to read!

Since coming to the seminary, I've noticed quite a push towards personal assessment tests. These would be tests like the Meyers-Briggs, etc. So far, I've taken two of these assessments since coming to campus. It's quite interesting having to take a test to evaluate who you are as a human being. You answer questions about what you would do in certain situations, your likes, your dislikes, etc. Somehow, the people that score these tests always come up with a description that sounds at least a little bit like you.

A friend and I were reflecting over these tests on Monday while we were driving to fieldwork. We were reflecting that the personality assessments can make note of two lifestyles: one without Christ, and one in Christ. Now, the tests are secular and don't come right out and say that, but nonetheless, the characters they portray most of the time will fall into one of these two categories.

When I've taken these exams, I've noticed that one quality that keeps coming out is my ability to persuade. Now, persuasion can be both a very positive and a very negative tool. It can be used to help people realize your point of view (Paul does this in the book of Acts quite a bit), but it can also be used for selfish purposes. We may try to pull away from the sinfulness of our nature, but we can never quite do it.

It reminds me of the first "Homeward Bound" movie. There's a part in the movie where one of the dogs falls into a pit. The dog tries a few times to climb up the side of the pit, but it's muddy and he slides back down. Now of course every movie ends up having a happy ending, so somehow, the dog gets out of the pit and back to its original owner. But this is how we are in sin. We're like a weak dog stuck in the bottom of a muddy pit. On our own, we can never get out. Thankfully, Jesus came as the Perfect Sacrifice so that we could be saved. That doesn't mean that we don't fall into the hole again (quite regularly actually), but we are continually rescued--redeemed--by Christ.

We all have special personalities. Certainly not everyone at the seminary is persuasive. Some are reserved, some our very social, etc. But we all have a natural addiction to sin. We're born with it. Thankfully, Christ saves and allows us to use our talents for his good, and not our own selfish ambitions.

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