In this video from Gospel Above All with Pastor J.D. Greear, author Jen Wilkin discusses how we have come to define ourselves with personality tests and seeking self-knowledge. But we should find the definition of who we are in finding out Who God is. It is Who God is that then informs who we are and how we should live.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
I think that in the culture at large, you see we love the personality tests. Like right now the Enneagram is the big deal. But you know, twenty, thirty years ago it was Meyers-Briggs. There’s always some mirror that we want to look into to give us self-knowledge.
And those things are not wrong. They’re tools. They’re things that we can use to help us gain self-awareness. But when our emphasis lies so much on that is when I think things can begin to get a little off-kilter. When we’re constantly consumed with the “who we are” part and it never turns into the ”how we’re living” part.
First of all, I think we’re missing the pattern of the Scriptures certainly. If you think about the New Testament epistles, they start with the indicative and then they always move to the imperative. This is who you are and therefore because this is who you are this is how you should live.
Right. And just to put it on the bottom shelf for a minute for people that don’t remember their ninth grade English class. Indicative are going to be statements about Who God is and what He has done. And imperatives are statements about what we should do in response.
That’s right. Well and the indicative is Who God is and what He has done. But it also turns into statements like you find in 1 Peter of “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation“. So it moves in the order that we would want it to. This is Who God is and seeing Who God is helps you to understand who you are. And then, knowing who you are tells you that there are implications for the way that you live your life.
But we get stuck. We get stuck in that middle part there.