Sunday, November 13, 2011

when psychological typology impedes upon grace

not being a trained therapist, i wouldn't know.  but i'm pretty sure my thoughts aren't suggestive of self-destruction or anything like that so don't start worrying.  i sometimes just get so tired of living the way i do - this constant battle of the mind, heart, and truth.  it's quite exhausting. 

it's kind of like the time i went ice skating with my roommates back in college around christmas time.  it wasn't my first time skating, but it was the first time i'd gone with a plan.  having grown up with michelle kwan and that skinny white girl whose name flees my mind at the moment, i knew exactly what i wanted to accomplish once we got to the rink.  i'd try a few double axels and maybe a couple of those spinny things where you spin in place forever.  i was sO excited to try out these moves.

we'd arrived at the K street skating rink in downtown sac, paid for our shoes and sat along the perimeter of the frozen oval under christmas light trellises and holiday music, lacing up our skates.  i remember thinking to myself, how hard could it be?  i'm pretty good at rollerblading so this should be cake.  unfortunately, as soon as we stepped onto the ice, my legs went awry, wobbling inside skates that fit as snuggly as an old man's dentures.  in less than 5 minutes, my level of anticipation and excitement took a nosedive into the cold cold ground.  my dreams had dashed away.  after about an hour of failed attempts, i got so frustrated that i was ready to leave asap.  not even the christmas music could keep me there.

i blame my INFP disposition for my propensity to dream high and wide.  it often gets me into trouble as i can't consciously rationalize the events surrounding me until it's too late - my mind being too high up in the clouds and my eyes too thickly glazed over with optimism of an alternate reality. 

scanning MBTI profiles, i always feel a little pride over the descriptions they label me.. creative, caring, peaceful, etc.  but i'd also be the first to tell you that it comes as a double-edged sword.  in a previous post, i quoted a fellow INFP who believes that despite her head-in-the-clouds trait, this is who god created her to be.  hmm  i struggle with this because sometimes i wish i were more level-headed.  that i weren't so dependent on other people's feelings or expect the same level of awesomeness in other people as i do myself.  (yeah, i really did just admit that =/ )  i battle with the consequences of my choices and end up feeling like a loser - frustrated with myself and the situations i find myself in.

over the last couple years, good counsel has helped me realize these things about myself and to better manage my tendencies.  but it still happens that when the fault of my personality type shows its ugly face, i feel sick all over again.  

for a long time, i'd look to paul for encouragement: 
now we know that if the earthly tent we line in is destroyed, we have a building from god, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothes with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  for while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  now it is god who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  1 corinthians 5

this morning, pastor gee talked about the sinful nature of man that came into being when adam and eve disobeyed god's one commandment in the garden.  it is because of the fall of man that we now deal with the consequences of sin today, in our every day life - even those intertwined within the web of our complex personality traits.  paul struggled with this as well.  i think he also found it to be very frustrating.  if only heaven would come sooner!  "i am torn between the two; i desire to depart and be with christ, which is better by far." phil 1  but until then, we gotta continue fighting.

i think this is where i got it all wrong.  i thought that wallowing in my own self-pity and finding companionship there with one of jesus' own apostles would be good enough.  and that it'd be okay to be a chronic mope-ster as long as i'd gotten verses to back me up. 

in pg's sermon outline this morning, point 3 states that god gave us the law to remind us how bad we are and how gracious god is.  this was kind of a light bulb for me.  so maybe in moping over my life and feeling sad about the sinful state of man, i'm really just not accepting god's grace, everything that he'd sacrificed through the cross.  for everything he's done for me, i've chosen not to accept it. and that's kinda lame of me.
what a wretched man i am!  who will rescue me from this body of death?  thanks be to god - through jesus christ our lord!  romans 7:24
a lifetime of sunday school and bible studies have taught me enough to know that god's redeeming blood covers all sins; not just the ones i think i can let him be responsible for.  this includes the all the weirdo-ness that stems from my personality.  

understanding all this is slightly comforting.  and ideally i could throw in my white flag right now and let him take on the battles from here on out.  but i never thought that god's grace is something that would be so hard for me to take.

1 comment:

  1. um...very insightful post :) i totally understand what your'e struggling with. very encouraging and help me to accept god's grace more readily as well...thanks :)