What the Spirit Does

I think we've started to give too much credence to personality typing.  Whether you're a Myers-Briggs person, or a "strength finders" person, or a "DISC" person, etc. . . . .we are a people that like to categorize ourselves so that we can understand ourselves better.  And, there is a lot of good in that.  I've been helped by sociology, personality studies, and seeing the trends that come up when we look at different kinds of people.  But, I think we've gone too far.  Why?

When we write off things the bible tells us are part of the work of the Spirit in us, because it's "not me", then we've gone too far.  When we opt out of ways the Holy Spirit is working in us because it seems foreign to us, we've gone too far.  We're so scared of anxiety and feeling out of our element that we eject ourselves from situations where the Spirit wants to work.  One of the most common ways we do this is by prizing authenticity or bluntness over gentleness.  Ironically, this kind of thinking makes us less authentically ourselves, not more.  Pursuing gentleness is pursuing who God made us to be.  Cynicism, slander, hyperbole, and exaggeration are works of the Fall.    Dane Ortlund puts it well:  

“[G]entleness is essential to Christian living. It is not an add-on. It is . . . one of the few indisputable evidences of the Holy Spirit alive and well within someone. Gentleness is not just for some Christians, those wired in a certain way. It cannot merely be an inherent character trait, a result of personality or genetic predisposition, because it is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Looked at another way, nowhere in the New Testament’s lists of spiritual gifts is gentleness identified as one such gift. It is not a gift of the Spirit for a few. It is the fruit of the Spirit for all. To be gentle is to become who we were meant to be; that is, to return to who we once were, in Eden.”

– Dane C. Ortlund, Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God (Crossway), 91.