I hope you have taken the color test that the church provided to help give context to our communication issues and styles. If not, take a few minutes to do that now by texting “COLORS” to 419-419-0707. You will be provided with a link that will take you to the quiz.
I always love to take these types of tests—right up to the time when they tell me the bad news. I don’t know about you, but I already know the bad sides of my personality type! I balance between red and yellow, which comes as no surprise to those of you who know me! That means that I am outgoing (loud), love to organize things with people (pushy), spontaneous (interrupts), delegates well (impatient) … the good (with the bad)!
As I look at scripture, I find my personality brothers in John and James, the “Sons of Thunder,” as Jesus called them. In Mark 10:35-37, they come to Jesus with a pretty bold request—here’s the gist: “Hey, Jesus, when you come into your kingdom, let one of us sit on your right hand and the other on your left. (We’ll fight about who is where later!)”
Jesus has their number (which I’m thinking must be like a 25 on the red scale)! He replies something to the effect of: “You don’t know what you’re asking; although, at some point, you will understand the cost of this request when you have to pay it!”
Needless to say, the selfish, self-centered request by John and James does not go unnoticed with the rest of the guys, and they let them know about it. At which point, Jesus says what we choleric/sanguines do NOT want to hear!
42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“But,” I say, “I have the leadership gift! I am supposed to lead.” (That means everyone else should follow—i.e. do what I say!) “I have the education. I have the experience. I … I … I …”
To which Jesus replies, “Others, others, others.” Among us followers of Christ, it should be different. We get to lead the way in serving and loving others, just as Jesus did when he led the way to the cross!
As I think about how our words should be used to build others up so as to encourage those who are listening, I regret the times I’ve weaponized my words so as to be thought witty at someone else’s expense. I’ve squandered opportunities to celebrate the successes of others because it might take the spotlight off my accomplishments.
I am grateful that Jesus still loves me, even when I disregard the price he paid so that I could love the people he loves. My personality type has many positive attributes, and thankfully, the negative ones can be worked on through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me! It is a wonderful thing to know how God has made me. It is even more wonderful to realize that he’s not done with me yet!
Today is another day that we can choose to glorify God by being the person he created us to be. To love and serve those he has put in our lives. To offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him!
Who in your life can you love and serve? Do you know how they receive love? Is it the same way you do? If not, what can you do to bridge the communication gap?
Once you answer the above questions, put a plan in place to re-establish communication with those you identified. Ask questions like, “If I say____, what do you think I mean?” Or, “When I say one thing, how is it that you seem to understand it another way?” Listen with an open heart and an open mind! Even we orange people can learn if we keep our mouths shut!
Father, I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, crafted by you even before you created the world. But I am steeped in sin, and my desire is to make myself grand! Forgive me, Lord, and renew my mind in your word, that I can love who you love and hear what you say to me. My desire is to serve you, and I know that only happens when I serve those you love. Give me the heart to love them too! I have what it takes! You gave it to me! Help me use it all to your glory! Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.
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