“What Will It Take?”
Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
What will it take? What will it take for our minds to connect with what we hear and see? I keep hoping that men and women will become critical concerning what they are told to believe. Yet, I see little evidence that critical thinking is the majority behavior.
I remember that I took a Myers- Briggs personality test about twenty five years ago. This test was designed to categorize one’s personality. It generally revealed how one processed relationships and events. It is somewhat helpful in allowing the person tested to “work on” certain areas of weakness. By no means is this test based upon Christian principles. The founders of the test based their work on Carl Jung, the predecessor of Freud. Nevertheless, just as a stopped clock is right twice a day so too this study has been helpful in assessing various personality strengths and weaknesses. You may have guessed that I’m not a fan of either Jungian or Freudian psychology. As a Christian, I view myself through the lens of Scripture. That is, my identity is in Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and revealed the details of Christian identity. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
I’m not seeking to be some “pop psychologist.” I’m simply use my experience of this testing to illustrate a point. I am aware that all truth is God’s truth.
Nevertheless, I was required to take the Myers-Briggs test and when I did, the version I took had a score of 1-20 in four areas. I honestly answered the questions. I had hopes of learning about myself. I discovered that in the judging section of the test I scored a perfect 20. I was so upset that my judging score was 20 that I asked to take the test again. I was allowed to take it, but was advised that any different score would not be counted, but I could take the test for personal reasons. In the re-take, I purposely changed a few answers and to my surprise, my score in the same section was 19 to 1 judging.
My wife still jokes with me about that test. Recently, I’ve started to think about that score I received 25 years ago. Why, I thought, was I so distressed in receiving a score of 20 or even 19 in the judging section? I initially assumed that judging in the test meant that I was a judgmental person. Upon further review, I discovered that the judging section was a determiner of critical thinking. A “judging” person is one who seeks facts rather than perceptions in order to make decisions.
As a Christian, I know that my faith is a gift from God and it is based upon facts. The supreme fact is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The validity of the Christian Faith rests upon the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1Corinthians 15:17.
I know that God enters the mind and changes the heart. I know that Man is made in the image and likeness of God. We bear some of God’s attributes that He communicated to us. We have a mind by which we can think, reason, critique and make decisions.
If you’re a fan of Myers-Briggs, you’ll recognize the following letters: I-T-S-J. Myers-Briggs’ letter categories stand for: I = introversion versus E = extraversion; T = thinking versus feeling; S = sensing versus intuitive; J = judging versus perceiving. Don’t be led to believe that only certain people think or certain people feel, etc. God made us all with all of these abilities. Some are stronger in certain areas than are others.
We must make decisions. I am reflecting upon our culture and am led to ask, “What will it take for men and women to make intelligent, informed decisions?”
I write to Christians. I am concerned that much of the church is not arming her members to think. We have majored in “feelings.” Yet, basic issues are confusing to Christians. We seem unable to know what is right.
Christian, don’t “check” your mind at the door. Study to show yourself approved. Learn what is right and good and true. Then do it for the glory of God!