Thursday, June 18, 2015

Relating to Others: Understanding our Strengths and Weaknesses

Personality tests and evaluations tell us a lot about who we might be, but many times we see only the good things and wonder, "Couldn't that describe anyone, really?" It's less likely that we see the weaknesses that tell us so much about ourselves as well. We can learn a lot by understanding our strengths, but we get more of a full picture when we understand our weaknesses and limitations as well.

What good can come out of our weaknesses?

Everyone is proud of their strengths, afterall, that's what we are good at. We should be happy when we do something well, or are appreciated for who we are. When we understand our weaknesses as well, we have a clearer idea of who we are as a person and what our limitations are. We can work on those weaknesses so that they don't make life harder for us or interfere with our relationships.

When I am weak, then I am strong

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9. 10 English Standard Version (ESV))

We all are only human and all have weaknesses. The good news is that God can work with us! Even with our weaknesses He can help us to help others. Many times he uses our weakness to show His strength, to prove to us that nothing is too hard for Him. This helps our faith because we see that it is not our limited strength that we have to rely on, but His great strength that helps us and keeps us. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Relating to other people: how your personality affects your relationships

Last week we spoke about our personality types and learned a bit more about ourselves and who we are. This week we will be continuing this topic, but with a focus on how our personality affects our relationships.

Our personality affects all of our relationships: friendships, family, romantic, and work. It influences the kind of people that we like to spend time with, what we like to spend time doing, who we will date and marry, the type of work that we enjoy, and how we interact with co-workers. In a perfect world, we would all get along without any conflict, no matter what personality differences that we have. Unfortunately, that is not the case and we do have disagreements and problems with people that are not like us, or maybe those that are too much like us! How can we avoid this and have better relationships with others? By understanding one another better. That is what we will be discussing this week.

Find out about your DISC style using this quick test:

Why does it matter that we understand ourselves and others?

Just as a parent wants all of their children to be happy together and to get along without fighting, so God wants us, His children, to live together in harmony. By doing so, we can have better lives and help one another.

Often, society tells us that one type of personality is best and we should try to be like it, but that is not being our true self. That makes it more difficult to live a happy life and help others. It is like the body. What if our hands said, "We want to be able to make the body go where we want to, we should be like feet?" That wouldn't work very well, would it? The body already has feet that are best at that, and would miss out on having the hands do tasks that only the hands can do, like brushing the teeth, writing, or holding a child.

"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 ESV

We all have important things that we can contribute (add to a group or work). By better understanding ourselves and others, we can have a bigger and more positive impact in life.


Who matches your personality? I found this very interesting picture online that tells which person from the Bible shares your personality type. Mine is Jeremiah and Josh's is Noah.

(Click the picture to make it bigger.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Relating to other people: What kind of person are you?

We all have known someone in our life that we feel we have known forever. This person understands us like no other and we get along great! This person may be our parent, a friend, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband or wife. These people work well with us and getting along with them is easy. We go to them when we need comfort, a laugh, or to spend time while just being ourselves. 

And then there are those other people... We have all met them, too. It seems like some people are just so different from us that we can't seem to get along at all, no matter how hard we try. We think one thing and they think something else. We just don't understand each other and it causes problems: sometimes small, but sometimes big ones. 

So how can we get along with and work well with both kinds of people? How can we understand people better so that both of our lives are happier? That will be the topic of this Friday night. To learn the answer to these questions, we must first ask: "What kind of person am I?" This will be the first part of our four part series. (At least that is the plan!) 

To begin with, we will be exploring our different personality types. To get a head start on yours, please take this quick online test and write down your results to bring with you for discussion. 

English Journal

1. Who do I have the closest relationship with? What do I like about it?
2. Name one person you can't understand or get along with very well. What is it about them that drives you crazy?
3. What personality type are you? Do you agree or disagree with the test results?