Have you ever taken a personality test? I have. Several of them as a matter of fact. People usually take these tests to help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses so they can become a better version of themselves. These tests give a person a greater understanding of what “drives them” through life.
In college, I took the Myers-Briggs and discovered I was an ISFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging, AKA the protector type). I took it again in my 30s and discovered I was not an ISFJ, but an ESFJ instead (somewhere along the way I went from being an introvert to an extrovert). I’m an I (an influencer) by DISC standards and, after taking the Enneagram Assessment, it was determined that I am a Reformer (the Rational & Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic).
I never gave much thought to these tests until a few years ago when I took the CliftonStrengths assessment. It was then that I finally think I uncovered my true personality and what makes me tick. My “theme” in this assessment is an INPUT. I’ll explain more about what that means later. But first, let me give you a little glimpse into me.
For as long as I can remember I’ve felt a need to collect and archive things. I love to accumulate information-facts, ideas, and words (I especially love quotes). and artifacts. When it comes to collecting tangible things I’m a pro. Among other things, you’ll find a “Breaking News” newspaper collection in my basement keepsake box, more antique salt & pepper shakers than I’ll ever know what to do with, black and white photos in mismatched frames hung all over our cabin walls, and vintage kitchen gadgets (rolling pins, rotary hand mixers, potato smashers, etc.) in my cabinet drawers.
Most of all I’m an extremely inquisitive and curious person. Trivia nights? Love them! Whodunnit movies and books? Yes and yes! Quiz shows? I’m slightly addicted to them. *Lynn fact: Several years ago I attended a group tryout for Wheel of Fortune. It was a blast even though I didn’t make the cut. 🙁 Now back to the blog…
I want to know more about this world. When I was little I loved paging through the encyclopedia (remember those?). I especially loved the H edition since I had (and still do) a passion for horses. Now I do Google searches looking for answers. A few of my most recent searches? Why does my stomach growl when I get a massage? Why does the moon affect the tides? Why isn’t the volume on my earbuds working?
I ask questions all.the.time. Thanks to the CliftonStrengths assessment I now know that curiosity and inquisitiveness is a key indicator of an INPUT person. No more wondering why I am the way I am. I fit the INPUT description perfectly.
Enough about me. Want to know who was (and still is) a master at being curious and asking great questions? Jesus. Questions are a great teaching tool. In the Gospels, Jesus asked more questions than He gave answers to. As a matter of fact, if you count them, He asked 307 questions (some are the same question interspersed between the four Gospels). Asking questions was central to Jesus’ life and teachings. He especially loved to use open-ended questions (those not eliciting a yes or no response). He does the same thing to us today.
Now before you start thinking “but Jesus is supposed to know everything” you are correct! He most definitely was (and is) omniscient (all-knowing) but there are several reasons why He asked questions in the Gospels that He already knew the answer to. They are:
- Questions forced those He was interacting with to think and not just spout off things they learned by rote or by ritual.
- He wanted to elicit engagement.
- Questions created conversations.
- His listeners were more apt to “own” their conclusions when they spoke the answer out loud.
Jesus’ questions centered around:
- Relationships with others.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
- Faith and commitment
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36)
- Motivation and intent.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:36)
“Have I not chosen you?” (John 6:67)
- His identity.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29)
- Love for Him.
“Do you love me?” (John 21:17)
- Healing and compassion.
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28)
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25)
There Is No Such Thing As a Stupid Question
When I was younger and in the throes of “momhood” it was difficult to have a quiet time with the Lord. I squeezed in any time I could find to have conversations with Him and ask Him for help. Now that I’m an empty nester it’s much easier to carve out quiet time. I’ve made it a priority and it’s paid off big time. If I don’t make time to meet with the Lord I tend to operate on auto-pilot, I get caught up in the madness of this world, and I miss His God “winks” (those little “coincidences” that aren’t really coincidences) and instructions to me.
Because of my daily morning “sit-downs” with Him, I find myself less anxious, kinder, more forgiving, a whole lot more content, and better able to love others. A big part of this change in me is that the Lord often asks me some of the same questions He asked 2000+ years ago in the hope that they will get me to think and, in doing so, allow Him to refine me.
Here are a few examples:
- Lynn, why are you so afraid? (Matthew 8:26)
I hear this question a lot when I get anxious about my kids, my husband, and my health. Or when I hear news about crime, wars, or the tanking economy.
- Lynn, who do you say I am? (Matthew 16:15)
This is one He asks me when He wants me to have confidence in who He is (all-powerful, perfect, always with me, filled with grace for me).
- Lynn, what is it you want? (Matthew 20:21)
This is a particularly good question since I tend to waffle back and forth about decisions and struggle with impulsiveness.
- Lynn, what do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:51)
This question helps me to get specific in my prayers to Him. He loves to hear the details about what it is that I’m asking of Him.
- Lynn, what is your name? (Mark 5:9)
You’d think He’d know my name, right? He does! He just wants me to agree with Him about my position in His Kingdom as a child of the King. Every once in a while I start blending in with others and forget that He’s called me (and you) to be different.
- Lynn, do you still not understand? (Mark 8:21)
Gosh. He asks me this question a lot. Sometimes He has to gently remind me of His love for me, His power, and His plans,
- Lynn, why do you call me “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
I wish I could tell you that He never has to ask me this question, but He does-especially when I’m doing the opposite of what He wants me to do! Thank goodness that He’s patient and knows I’m a work-in-progress
- Lynn, where is your faith? (Luke 8:25)
I’m sort of embarrassed about this one, but I’m human. Sometimes he asks this when I’m doubting His goodness, not claiming His promises, and having a fit of amnesia and forgetting His power.
- Lynn, who is greater, the one at the table or the one who serves? (Luke 22:27)
Sometimes I think I’m better than other people (ugh!) and Jesus has to remind me that no one is better than another.
- Lynn, do you want to get well? (John 5:6)
This question holds a particularly special place in my heart. When He saw me struggling and entangled in an eating disorder stronghold years ago I heard Him whisper this question to me. At first, I ignored Him (multiple times), but after He persistently asked it over and over again He made me see that, through His power, I could be healed. And I was.
Sometimes the Lord goes off-script and asks me questions that aren’t found in the Gospels. Questions like:
Do you want what I want? Is your heart in alignment with mine? Do you mourn for the persecuted? Are you doing things to help them? Are you more talk than show? Are you being selfish? Proud?
How far are you willing to go for my name? Will you stand up for Me and defend the cross or will you blend in with society and be a follower in name only? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Will you take up your cross and suffer for me?
What is your ministry? Who are you ministering to? Do people see Me through you? When people see and hear you do they know you belong to Me? Who are sharing my Good News with?
Q&A Sessions (That Really Matter)
Do you know what I love about my Q&A sessions with Jesus? He doesn’t play Good Cop-Bad Cop with me nor does He cross-examine me or point His finger at me accusingly (like I used to think He did). Instead, He gently and lovingly asks me questions to help me analyze situations from His heavenly perspective, to motivate me to change my ways, and to get me to evaluate my priorities and see if they align with His. He loves me too much to let me remain the same.
Friend, He loves you just as much. He longs to speak with you. Are you listening to Him? He’s got questions for you. He’s invested in you (and always will be). He’s interested in your answers. Remember this: the enemy of your soul (mine too) wants nothing more than for you (and me) to be too busy and too distracted to hear the queries of God. He doesn’t want you (or me) to grow closer to God. He wants the opposite. He wants us to be anxious, to live in despair, to be lonely, to be unforgiving, and bitter. Don’t let him win.
Before I go please consider a few questions. I’d love to hear back from you. If you’re up for it send me a note with your answers.
- Are you in a season of your life where you think you’re too distracted to hear from God?
- What are some things you can do to intentionally make time to hear from Him?
- What is stealing your focus today?
- What will you do today to return to God with all your heart?
- What are some things God is questioning you about?
Until next time…
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