Can I be honest with you! This morning I realized that it is the first time in months that I actually feel peace and joy. When we don’t know ourselves, people are quick to tell us who we are. When we believe that we are supposed to be this or that and do this or that, we adapt personalities and engage in task we are not called to engage in. As I go through this detoxification process in my life, the Holy Spirit is opening my eyes and guiding me… He is doing it… this is not the work of man!
The study of Temperaments has been a blessing in my life. Temperaments are not personalities. A personality is a mask, is the role we assumed. We adapt different personalities, we become good actors. We are one person when we are at work, another when with are with family and friends, in social gatherings, at the church, etc. However, our temperament is who we really are and what we need, our strengths and weaknesses, etc. As I discover who I am, I realized why I have been so miserable in my church experiences, including churches I led.
Am I a singer? Yes, I am and, not a bad one. Am I a pastor? Yes, I am! I love the Lord; I love to study God’s Word and I love to help people. However, I am not a pastor in the traditional sense. I care about people, but I function best one-on-one or small groups. Am I antisocial? No, but I am not a social person either. I prefer a small group of folks who I am close to. Am I a people person? Definitely not, I am introvert and task oriented… I like to get things done. I enjoy times alone; as a matter of fact, I need those times alone. I am a deep thinker; some say an old soul.
Why is this important? Because if we know ourselves, we will know what we are called to do, and, we will learn to say “NO”. Many of the problems we have in this life is because we assume roles and responsibilities that we are not called to engaged in. We suppress, many times, out of ignorance, who we really are. When we do that, our God-given needs are suppressed and that is how we step into the large neighborhood of misery. James 4:1-3 tells us,
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (NIV)
That battle within us is when we desire things that are not for us to have, when we conform to what our families and the culture tells us we should have and do. James tells us that we “desire but do not have.” The reason we don’t get what we desire is because our motives are out of order; our desires become sinful and not in accordance with God’s will. Our focus become our pleasure; this is a focus on the flesh. On the other hand, when we delight in God, He will give us the true desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4); that is, He will satisfy our needs in accordance with who we are and what we are called to be by our Creator. How liberating!