Personality is so interesting to me. Why do people do what they do?
This interest has helped me a lot in relationships. The first year Randy and I were married I remember having a conversation about something – I can’t remember what – and I distinctly remember my response to what he said: “I can’t believe you think that.” Later, we made the connection that he’s an external processor: he verbalizes his thoughts as he’s trying to figure things out. What he says in the beginning may not be what he really thinks, he just hasn’t gotten to his conclusion yet.
This interest has also helped me in my own walk with God. I understand myself better now, so I know where my strengths lie and where I need improvement.
Did you know the Bible actually addresses these issues? Amazing, right? The Bible really does have something for every area of our lives.
One of the classics that shows these differences in personality is the story of Mary and Martha. You know the one. Jesus comes to their home. Martha’s running around like a headless chicken, and Mary just wants to hear what Jesus has to say.
Now Martha was the Type A, wanting everything to be just so (duh). Mary was laid back and valued relationship more than work.
Now, in this instance, Jesus commended Mary for her attentiveness to him when Martha complained she wasn’t getting any help. I wonder what that dynamic was like – between Mary and Martha – in other areas of their lives. Did Mary struggle with procrastination? Don’t know. Scripture doesn’t say.
This passage has been used to paint Type B’s as more Christ-like, but I don’t think that’s fair or accurate.
Scripture has plenty to say about both personality types – plus instructions for both.
For the Type A’s:
Now for us Type B’s:
Practical Steps for Each Type
Although I’m not Type A, I’m surrounded by them. Below are tips for what I’ve observed.
Okay. So I’m an expert on the next one. Not really, but I am familiar with it since it’s the group I fall into. This is what I’ve learned:
Why is it so much harder to see solutions for others than for yourself? It was way easier to come up with tips for the Type A peeps than for my own group. Whew.
Really, I think we can each learn something from each other because the healthiest place to be is somewhere in the middle. Neither of us is better than the other.
No matter what personality type you have, and no matter what your struggle is, rest assured Scripture has something for you – both instruction and comfort. And I must add another tip, one that applies to either type: pray. I can do all things…
How about you? What’s your area of struggle thanks to your personality type, and what have you learned? Drop a comment below.