Having had the opportunity to take assessments dealing with personality (MBTI), strengths (Gallup’s Strengths Finder), relational intelligence, and even an in-depth career assessment (the Birkman Method), the key has always been applying what I’ve discovered. There is real power in discovering your identity.
Once you discover your identity, then what do you do when you know who you are, know what you are here to do, and know where you are going?
In the midst of genuine self-awareness, Jesus chose to serve.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:3-5).
Have you taken any of these assessments? What did you discover? How have they helped you serve others?
[…] “What Do You Do When You Discover Your Identity” […]
I’ve taken the strengths finder and it showed that I care deeply about connecting with people (Connectedness, Woo, Developer, Empathy, and Positivity). When I feel disconnected or unsympathetic, I know something needs to change because that’s not who I am. Sometimes it’s a process but I get there eventually. It also encouraged me deeply in my efforts to reach others. I always felt bad that I wasn’t witnessing to nonbelievers, like maybe it was essential to being a follower of Christ, but I’ve discovered it doesn’t always look the same and my “witnessing” can be through living out my faith and loving others (as an action, through service, etc.).
The flipside…I totally wear my heart on my sleeve. Still working on that one. =]
I teach college students ESL, and doing these kind of assessments really helped me feel free to be me in my classroom. Since then, my students have learned more, and my classroom has been a more enjoyable place to be. Before I took them, I was always trying to be like other teachers who had very specific methods of teaching – their methods reflect their strengths! I was trying to work in someone else’s strengths and it took so much energy from me – so the idea of serving was exhausting!
Now, that I feel more free to be myself, teaching doesn’t take that energy out of me – I actually get energy from it and want to serve more! Who knew that being self-aware would actually give me energy to serve in love more than if I’m trying to force myself into a box that I don’t fit in. Thanks for the food for thought Eric.
I remember the verse above, as it is a commonly discussed one, but I hadn’t ever thought about the implications of the first part of it! “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power,” so what does He do? Does He stand up and begin His reign as King? Does He use His Father’s influence to get a good job, or run for President? “…so He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” This is astonishing as is, but is made more so because of the status we see bestowed upon Christ.
This idea was presented to me a few weeks ago as I was reading McManus’ book “Uprising” amidst some life troubles. This year so far I had been volunteering full time at a church, and I had hoped that they would bring me on eventually. No dice. My wife and I eventually decided that we did need to paycheck that we had been forgoing, and I started to look for jobs. There weren’t many ministry jobs in our context that were available, so I applied for some non-profits as well. The search didn’t go well, and as a result I spent about 2 weeks moping around the house, looking up and asking God, “What am I supposed to do?” It was then that I stumbled upon a phrase in Uprising that slapped me cold: “It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we don’t do what we know.” I stopped moping, and started digging into God, and the rewards have been immediate. Shortly after, I got a call back from one of the non-profits. I still don’t have employment, but the fact that God has a mission for my entire life colors my experiences in a way that is more significant than simply getting a paycheck.
In short, I’m thankful that I’m very aware of what I can do and how I can deploy my skills. Now I’m patiently waiting for where He’s going to put me to do that.