Wednesday, May 14, 2008


lately, i've been thinking about personality a lot. what makes us who we are? what factors in to the way we think, we act, we relate to others, the things we like and those we don't, the way we see the world, the way we take in information, etc...

this stuff fascinates me, and also confuses me. sometimes i think i know myself, and then sometimes, at the end of the day, i look at some of the choices i made (or didn't make) and all i can think is, what the heck?

reading the myers-briggs stuff, i'm pretty sure the ENFP label fits me well. i think i'm almost intuitive to a fault. i can't help but see the way things/ideas connect, or how they don't and yet should. i get lost in the bigger picture, and i just want others to get it as well. i love dreaming and talking out ideas with others, brainstorming, creating, etc. getting my feet wet in just about everything that comes across my path and seems remotely interesting.

this is all good, and does give a lot of insight into why i am the way i am. but then i think about other things that don't add up as well. i love to influence and encourage and BUILD. i love that word. i love the thought of seeing people reach their full potential--it's awesome. but at the same time, i find myself being so negative sometimes, so nasty and destructive.

what the heck?

yesterday, i was hanging out with 3 of my good girl friends, and some how the conversation turned to talking about someone else who we hadn't really seen in a while. i was so judgmental and negative about this person. and i knew i was doing it even as the words came out of my mouth. i didn't care. it was true, at least mostly, and i was irritated with this individual for stuff that had happened in the past and other stuff that probably wasn't really my business but still irritated me.

so i gossiped. i complained. i was just ugly and mean. and i the moment, i didn't care. yeah, exactly: what the heck?

how am i both this person who loves to build up others and encourage and launch them into bigger and better things, and yet also this mean, selfish girl who seems to take any chance to make herself look better while pushing someone else down? can something like myers briggs explain that?

i don't know. i haven't looked into it enough, but i do know this: i'm a messed up person living in a messed up world, who makes pretty bad choices at times. sometimes by accident or ignorance, but all too often, on purpose. as much as i like to puff myself up and pat myself on the back, i'm ugly, and it comes out in my actions and words and what not.

but i also know some good news: grace. i mean, wow. it's become a word that i think we take for granted way too much, but grace really is amazing. i had a friend once say that we tend to think of our sin and junk like we're these cute puppies that got dirty from playing in the mud, and we think that God just needs to come along and clean us up. but really, we're more like the orcs from Lord of the Rings (or maybe this ugly dog who's pic i put at the beginning of this blog). we're ugly. scary, nasty, not even remotely something that anyone would want to be near.

but God is full of grace. in fact, in John 1:14, it says that Jesus came to earth, to live among us, "full of grace and truth." that's pretty amazing, when you think about all the ugly people like me that he had to put up with while he was here. not just a little grace, or even enough, but FULL. and truth too, which i think of sometimes as a contrast to grace. but He was full of both grace AND truth, so they must work together somehow. there must be a way to be both grace and truth filled, to live out both of these things...

i know, more and more each day, that i can't do it on my own. i try really hard--i always have--and it's just not enough. i'm ugly, on my own at least. but because God is full of grace, and willing to pour it out to ugly people like me, i've found hope and life. i still make bad choices, but who i really am, my core, has been changed, made new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that's pretty amazing to think about.

so if you feel ugly too, don't be discouraged. there is hope for ugly people like us. it can't be found by trying harder or cleaning up on our own--we can wash off and dress up, but we'll still be ugly. we need someone who can literally change who we are, from the inside out, and Jesus is the only one i know who can do that. feel free to disagree, but i know what i've experienced first hand, and it's been amazing.

full of grace and willing to share. to forgive. to transform. to make new.

all we have to do is believe and ask. wow.

i think that's all i have for now. maybe more on this later...

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