I must regress a bit to my when I wasn’t a Christian to explain how I came to this point. My first brush with personality types was through a work colleague, she had been to Ardfert Cathedral to do an enneagram course and wanted to know my type, I think she wanted vindication for why we didn’t gel. This behaviour was not new to me, people have tried to change me all my life, I was the proverbial cuckoo in the nest in any group situation; saying the wrong thing, or not speaking , having a lack of empathy for people in general, (computers are my friends!!!). I took the test and I was a type 5 with six wings making me a problem solver most associated with the Five-the intellectual who is interested in science, technology, and acquiring facts and details. The colleague surprised me because she thought I would be a 2, a healer. If you want to know your type there is hiding in this site a free test: http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
With the dawn of widespread internet, I progressed to taking the Myers Briggs test an example can be found here: http://www.personalitypage.com/html/index.shtml and there I discovered I wasn’t odd I was INTP. I found forums for INTP and enjoyed the shared joy of knowing “I am not alone” there were 2% of the population the same as me.
Coming to church was against type; generally INTPs are either without religion or anti-religion. Coming from an atheist background made sense, it fitted, except a bit like a shoe with a tiny bit of grit in, it wasn’t comfortable, it didn’t feel right, due to a little seed planted in me when I was a very small child by a Christian woman. I liked being in church, full of these good people, who were king and friendly and all got along. My “happy clappy” bubble was burst a few weeks later but I was pleased that I was used to resolve the situation. It was my first; being aware of being used by God and so I began to look back to the few notable occasions when Christians tried to veer me onto the right path. I had now experienced that sense of being used and it felt good.
It has been suggested that there are three ways that an INTP relate to religion:
- They can outright deny it as irrational.
- They can accept it as a philosophy and analyse it.
- They can accept the experience of others which might include the collective experience of a tradition.
When I became part of a church community, I watched carefully the rituals of others, keeping my own thoughts inside while listening and then analysing what others had to say. I knew I wanted this God that they talked about in my life but no matter how many times I heard “all you have to do is ask” the rational logical part of me couldn’t accept it was that simple. So I became a Christian-in-waiting. I believed in God, and I was working on changing things in my life slowly. I was doing a good job of fooling everyone including myself, verified by someone thinking I had a church background.
On many levels it was real, but it was like a Pixar animation of real – a lot more real looking than “Tom and Jerry” but it was still not real. It took a lot more analysing and philosophising, of picking the bits I liked from the bits I didn’t and a whole bunch of other stuff before I got to the Truth of it, it really was that simple, ask.
The journey since then has been different, because now it doesn’t matter that I am different and INTP, God accepts me. My personality type is something I am always going to have but now I can say I am not accepting the experience of others, I am fully experiencing for myself the wonderful gift of having God living in me. Each day brings new insights into his vast awesomeness, his boundless love and his grace and mercy that have brought me to this place, to this time where joy is overflowing in me and with his strength I can do anything he wants me to. I love my God, and I love being INTP – they dovetail perfectly.