October 22, 2017

How Personality Tests Help Us Understand People Better

I believe personality tests have value for us, both as Christians seeking spiritual maturity and as adults seeking stronger and more unified relationships. The key is to remember that our personality results do not define us; only God's Word can do that. These tests simply get us out of our normal way of looking at things, and share another perspective that we might never consider otherwise. But we shouldn't stop at simply knowing our type! Once we have a basic understanding of what those results mean, we ought to spend time reading about the other types -- not simply to satisfy curiosity, but to learn how to relate better to other types of personalities. We need to go beyond learning the [...Read More]

Do Personality Tests Add Value?

Personality tests are all the rage right now. From the "just for fun" quizzes on Facebook (what color are you? which state should you live in? who's your historical twin?) to the more serious assessments used in the workplace (MBTI, StrengthsFinder) and counselor's office (Love Languages, Birth Order, Enneagram), we are a culture consumed with learning more about ourselves. Is that a bad thing? No. It can be useful, and even necessary, for growth. Do we take it too far? Probably. I tend to roll my eyes at the silly little Facebook quizzes. According to those, my tastes indicate I have a Master's degree, my dog personality is a mastiff, and I'd wear a yellow shirt on the Enterprise [...Read More]

Life in the Age of Smartphones

If you're reading this, you're probably old enough to remember life before cell phones. Think back to that time for a moment . . . Remember how quieter things were, how less distracted everyone was, how intentional you had to be to stay in touch with friends or family. Remember the hand-written notes in your mailbox, the hours of visiting quietly on the porch, the curiosity about other's life-events, and the satisfying hard work of searching for answers by making actual conversation with people in front you. Do we romanticize those pre-cell-phone days? Sure, to some extent. But there were aspects of life that we can never go back to, so in a way -- it's worth romanticizing a [...Read More]

Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age

It seems like the more control we gain over our physical well-being, the more we want to control -- and the more it scares it when we can't! But what if we've been approaching our healthcare all wrong? As frail, mortal humans we place a premium on physical health. We want to be healthy and whole. If we are hurt or injured, we seek a remedy. If we are diseased, we seek a cure. We exercise, diet, and take vitamins to keep our bodies working in prime condition. We even spend money on well-visits just to make sure there's nothing wrong behind the scenes. None of that is wrong . . . until it crowds out everything else. None of that is harmful until it becomes our main focus in life, causing [...Read More]

Myers-Briggs Does Not Define You

Confession: I love a good personality test. Not those quizzes that go viral on Facebook, but actual "professional" personality tests like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, or Big Five. I find it strangely satisfying to find the boxes I fit into -- to see myself categorized as an introvert, for instance -- and discover I'm not alone in how I see the world. Personality tests can help us understand others better. They point out effective ways to encourage them, and highlight what energizes and what frustrates them. They show us there are as many types of strengths (or weaknesses) as there are types of introverts and extroverts. They also help us understand ourselves better. They spotlight [...Read More]

What Do You Think About Sleep?

Raise your hand if you have trouble sleeping through the night. I daresay many of you can relate. In fact, the number one physical complaint I hear from my friends and acquaintances is that they have trouble sleeping. And the latest statistics show that 1 in every 3 people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime -- a number that only goes up as we get older. Of course, there are many possible causes for poor sleep -- from seasons of life, to medical problems, to environmental disruptions -- and certainly our modern diets, diminished levels of activity, and non-stop technological habits have a big impact on our sleeping habits. But often there's no obvious cause, and [...Read More]