MBTI and spirituality

April 3, 2008

Graeme Codringtonposted a nice summary on MBTI (Meyers-Briggs) and spiritual development (part1, part2). I have a kind of love-hate relationship with personality tests, I love them, because they can help give greater self-understanding and self-acceptance. Knowing who you are, and that it is normal, and different from some others, so that you don’t attempt to make yourself someone you are not. I hate them when people try to change who they are because some test have said that they are supposed to be different from they natural way they express themselves, but any good psychologist will tell you that this is not the idea.

According to MBTI I am an ENTP. And the descriptions I’ve seen of this, is shockingly accurate! I’ve read some stuff on creativity, and yip, ENTP was me, and on personality profiles, ENTP was who I am. I once tested INTP (after I once broke up with Maryke), and all my friends who read the description knew that something must be seriously wrong. I was mentored by a guy who is busy with his Doctorate, working on MBTI profiles in the liturgy; he really helped me understand these kind of stuff better.

So, according to Graeme, this is what I ENTP will look like with regards to spiritual disciplines:

Creative, resourceful, and intellectually quick. Good at a broad range of things. Enjoy debating issues, and may be into “one-up-manship”. They get very excited about new ideas and projects, but may neglect the more routine aspects of life. Generally outspoken and assertive. They enjoy people and are stimulating company. Excellent ability to understand concepts and apply logic to find solutions.

Study, Service, Celebration

  • You need freedom from structures – disciplines are least helpful for you.
  • Prayer is much more of your whole day than a specific event.
  • Dream big dreams for God – you can change the world, if you try something really huge for God!
  • You might want to try liturgies and written prayers that you read, but be careful of an overly “religious” life.
  • Have spiritual conversations with others.
  • Try serving other people.

Yes, and this is me. I remember the feelings of guilt in my 2nd year of university because I simply couldn’t get a structured prayer life together. Until I realised that prayer is part of my whole day, and I simply can’t seem to sit still for a “prayer-hour” or something similar. Maybe I should try serving though…

What’s your MBTI profile? Does the description Graeme gave fit you? Can you learn something about spiritual disciplines from them?