I’m not in the habit of psychoanalyzing personality quizzes online. I think we take them because we want to prove our preconceived notions of ourselves right. The only way they work is if you answer with your instincts, picking the first one that appeals to you without thinking about it much. I want to end up being Gonzo, Sherlock Holmes, the Michael Jackson song “man in the mirror,” Ron Weasly, and anyone but the Hulk. But when I take these quizzes like you’re supposed to, I get something closer to accurate.
Not saying that these quizzes are accurate assessments of our personalities, I find them interesting enough because it shows two things. One what you think of yourself, and two what I think of you. I read your answer and, if I know you, I agree or I think, ok, what questions did they not understand because that is not like them at all!
Sometimes I take quizzes for my husband, meaning I answer them the way I think he would answer. And then I make him take it and see if it’s the same. Ah newlyweds! (ok technically we may not be any more, but I hope I always feel like I am.) I think I know my husband really well but sometimes a couple answers will be slightly off. Maybe I over-thought the answer, or maybe he was just wrong.
In serious personality assessments, there is an element of some kind to weigh the opinions of others. We have to admit that what we think of ourselves is not always what others think, or at least it’s not what comes across. And unless you’re a behavioral expert and have vast experience with people, you may not accurately understand how these disconnects happen.
My church is reading through 1 John and this week’s passage really struck me as a personality quiz.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 ESV)
Am I laying down my life? Am I loving those in need well? Am I bitter or resentful? Would others include “loving” and “open” in their description of me? Or am I just a bunch of talk and hot air?
If your life, your behavior, your personality is not characterized by love, you fail. That’s what John is saying. That’s what Jesus said. “You don’t have love, a gracious, overflowing, ridiculous, excessive, sacrifical love for others? Then you don’t have me.”
There was a time I came to realize that the two great commandments were really the same thing in many ways. Jesus even said they were alike. Loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind includes loving others. We say God is love, but what does that mean? And how do we love? How do others know that we love them? Does love really lift us all up where we belong? All good assessment questions to ask myself often.
One of these days the quiz will tell me I’m just like Jesus. And not the Hulk.