My Personality from God

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

Ps 139:13

I am unique

God formed me. Granted, after that, I messed up quite a bit. But my inner most being was formed by God. Today, we probably would not use the word knitted any more, but say wired instead.

God did not only make our body, but our soul and spirit as well. And he made it after his own image, yet very individually.

God is a God of creativity. Look at nature, and you will see that there is an aboundance of everything. There is not just one flower, one kind of tree, or one animal. Even within biological families, there still is a multitude. And individuals of the same kind do not look the same.

We need each other

I see that as well in Ephesians, when Jesus gave himself as he went up to heaven. He gave himself in five ways, as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Yet no two apostles are even the same, nor any of the others.

Not one of us would be capable of carrying all that Jesus was due to our past and our immaturity. But not only that: Jesus wanted to teach us that relationships are necessary. We all know in part, but together, we know more. We all are gifted in certain areas, and depend on others in other areas.

Nobody could carry all character traits of God.

Immaturity

This led me to discover my make-up. And maybe, you should too.

Early on in my Christian walk, people talked about the Disq test. Some frowned upon it, as they saw the danger of people using their type as an excuse. Interestingly enough, the same argument was used against the gifts of God. People were afraid that finding your gift would have you shy back from all work outside your specific gift package. „I am a teacher, I do not …”

Immaturity and abuse will take place with all truths. The truth of grace led to greasy grace, where there is no need for sanctification because Jesus did it all and you cannot and do not have to add to that. On the other end of the spectrum: when Jesus said that he was not doing away with the law, but bring it to fulness, people take that as the command to still follow the law by the tittle.

Thus, what I am going to say now will serve as a tool to understand yourself better and adjust your behavior as well as your thoughts about yourself. And with you I mean the inward parts that God wired together, not the mess you made out of it. I mean the new creation in all its individuality and greatness that we are discovering bit by bit. The new man that came into being when you gave your life to Christ. Everything else is dead anyway and but a hopefully fading memory that we either keep alive or decide to forget.

My very own make-up

In the next few paragraphs I will tell you about my build. Just as an example. This will allow you to understand my writings better, and hopefully help you get on a journey to discover yourself.

I truly believe that discovering my true self is one of the most important tasks I have as a human being. And I know that this already distinguishes my type from many others.

I believe that by becoming who I was called to be I can serve others and serve them better.

I think. This is my primary function. I think by myself. For hours and days I think about principles and theories. I look at all aspects, I make decisions and revise them again. I look at the big picture and find detailled examples. And then I am ready.

I am ready to test my theories by opening up to the world. They are not finished yet. But I feel that I need some sort of sounding board to continue refining. Thus, I look for some people to share with.

Those people need patience. Because frankly, I am only mildly interested in their opinion—that is not the phase for that quite yet. What I am sharing seems like an unconnected mess of bits and pieces that only in my mind form a great new world. The thoughts I share are the black holes of the universe I am creating that need clarification, the missing dark matter that is hidden from me. Speaking things out helps connecting the dots. And yes, there is the occasional hint by others that helps go forward, that brings break through. The rest is done by myself having to put my thoughts into words.

Imagine if I found people with the same interests and similar make-up! How much we could thrive in this phase. Nobody would limit the thought process with artificial, cultural, moral, traditional, practical objections. Nobody would hold us back from boldly going where no man has gone before.

After several iterations of these two phases, during which I often seem to contradict myself within the same sentence, I can proceed to the next one. I tie those new thoughts to existing and known principles and use those as stepping stones for the new.

Again I do this internally. I might connect it in different ways. The story might go like this: „You say, but I tell you.“ Or it migh sound like this: „Did it ever occur to you that X is only a special case for that bigger principle of Y?“. In some cases it might even be: „We have been lied to!“.

And now, now, and only now I am ready to share with the world. This is what I aim for: to help people. Help people understand God better, help them see the big picture. I want to provide truth and meaning to their lives. Because for me, it’s all about truth and meaning.

My History

For many years, I tried to become somebody else. In school and at home I learned that nobody is interested in phase 2. Nobody wanted to be my sounding board. And without it, I lost interest in the subject of the time because I got stuck.

Topics others proposed never stuck for long, because even though they proposed the topic, they could not follow my process.

The phrase I heard most: „This is not practical. how can I use this in every day life?“ As if a vacuum cleaner is practical before assembly. As if everything had to have practical applications in the first place.

But it made me think, and doubt. Could it be that if I wanted to help people—my ultimate goal—I had to adjust? Obviously, I was different. Would I have to be „one of them“ to have influence for the good?

Giving my life to Christ, I was taught about my old nature and how we have to die to ourself and strive to become more like him. The typical evangelical and pentecostal teaching, seeing ourselves still as separate from God and messed up, working with the Word and (in case of pentecostalism) the Spirit to sanctify ourselves. Not seeing that Jesus did it all on the cross and that we are a new creation already. Perfect? Not as we understand it. But maturing.

I was under the impression that I had to become this extraverted feeling sensing and perceiving person – almost the exact oposite of me. I was taught that introversion was egocentricity, thinking was old nature and misleading, intuition mostly wrong, and don’t even start me on judging—and yes, I am not judging.

Thus, for years, I tried to be somebody I just was not.

Did I work on my interpersonal skills? Yes, and it was a blessing. I learned to connect with people. I learned to—very primitively and incompletely—see what others felt. I grew and matured.

But then, I also lost. I lost so much time, not becoming what God wanted me to become, but trying to become who others were called to be. To fit a mold that was never meant for me. I denied myself to think deeply. I pursued so many things I had no interest in at all or any more, and performed poorly. I got frustrated and sick, joyless and hurt.

Redeemed

It has only been lately that I started to redeem my personality, recognizing that God has made me and wired me that way.

I am still searching to find the people that help me in phase 2. People willing to press through unfinished stories. People striving to explore. People with the ability to think big, creative, messy, detached from traditional limitations, Spirit lead on a journey into the new and unknown.

I haven’t found them yet. But I do not see this as a reason to deny their existence and revamp my personality any longer. I see it as a quest to go on a search. They are out there—maybe reading this piece this very moment. And God will connect us in time.

Martin Luther worked that way. His ideas about the individual and the necessity of an individual and personal relationship with God based on faith alone were „out there“ so much, they started a war and changed history. At his university, he also found people able to help him through phase 2.

How did God wire you? Please, let me know. And please, use it for the good, and not as an excuse.

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Categorized as Kingdom

By Ralph Rickenbach

Accompanyist | Pastor in Exile | Iconoclast — I am a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Spiral Dynamics practitioner.