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Our Saviour Lutheran 56 Cleveland Dr. Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 

Knowing Yourself Part 1

My pastoral colleagues and I have an ongoing, minimally stated excuse for absences and missed appointments- “pastor stuff.” We all know that the phrase simply means life got busy with ministry stuff that other stuff needed to fall away. Sadly, that is what happened to my devotional for the last few weeks. You will also notice it is on a new day and that is because things shifted, so I have a standing Tuesday morning appointment. I am going to give Monday a try for a bit.

Now onto the meat and potatoes. 

For the next few weeks, I want to share some resources I have found useful to do some self discovery. In my sermon yesterday, I shared that a big part of mission is knowing your own spiritual gifts, your own strengths and weaknesses, and to discover the places you feel closest to God when you do them. Knowing yourself is a way to grow as a disciple of Christ.

The first resource I am going to share isn’t from the spiritual realm at all, but you have probably run across it a few times, namely the Myers Briggs. I will warn that there is not a strong scientific background to the MB AND a licensed therapist/expert should administer it, but there are a few online for free where you can get a sense of what it does. In short, it is an indicator of how one best processes information, problem solves, and indicates places strengths and weaknesses.

It is divided into 4 categories- The first two are introvert or extrovert- namely do you internally process or bounce ideas off of others? The second is Sensing or Intuition- do you prefer facts and details (small picture) or do you prefer ideas and concepts and what might be (big picture)? The third is thinking or feeling- do you base your decisions on logic and reason or from a place of harmony and other’s emotions? Finally judging or perceiving- an easy way to view this is are rules, schedules, and planning important or do you prefer openness, flexibility, and spontaneity?

The MB has taken shape in popular culture to mean other things than how you process, but the purpose of the MB was to help businesses, especially, show how teams may work together.

I took it as part of the psychological evaluation which every ELCA pastor needs to take prior to entering the ministry. My letters came out to be an INTJ, but was on the bubble between J and P. This means the way I process is by internally thinking about what needs to be done focusing on the big picture usually thinking more logically than taking into what people may feel and usually setting a deadline to do things.

Knowing this has helped me in surrounding myself and listening more attentively to people who may be feelers, for example. To me while something may seem logical, I may not think about how others may perceive my actions or decisions. By connecting with strong feelers, it helps put a human face to decisions.

Knowing how to process has also helped me recognize the need for privacy and downtime, has helped with my creativity, and helped me find out how I work best. It has also helped when I interact with others who may function differently. It was a great tool to learn who I am and how I process.

It also wound up helping my faith life in that I know I need to pray quietly and in solitude at times. I found a way of devotion which is introspective and allows processing in the Lectio Divina. I found an end of day devotion which allows me to reflect on the day and find patterns in my life of shortcomings. I found I was fed more as I thought about scripture throughout the day rather than having a knee jerk response to it. 

How do you pray? How do you read Scripture? What works best for you?
Pastor Justin Johnson
Our Saviour Croton on Hudson

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Our Saviour Lutheran Church · 56 Cleveland Dr · Croton on Hudson, NY 10520-2751 · USA

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