I am an ENFP

I am an ENFP. Those four little letters crushed my dream. Most Biola students know what I am referring to when I call myself an ENFP, and for you who don’t, you will soon find out. An ENFP is part of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. There are a variety of letter combinations: I for introverted, E for extroverted, N for intuitive, S for sensing, T for thinking, F for feeling, P for perception, and J for judging.

ENFP happens to be my personality type. But that was not the problem. The problem was, not only am I an ENFP, but 15 other people in my first year seminar class are as well. And not just them, but also the girls who lived on my hall, in my classes and onward. The unique personality I thought I had was determined by four letters which put me in a category with what felt like a million other people.

But that was only the beginning. Not only was my personality found in 40 other people, but my future was also a generic trade. I knew that I wanted to be a missionary to Africa. I came to Biola as an intercultural studies major and I was determined to graduate and go to Africa and preach the gospel. So did 10 other girls in my first year seminar class, which doesn’t count my roommate and the other two girls on my floor who wanted to do the same thing.

Then it started to slowly sink in, the unique individual I thought I was, I suddenly saw replicated all over the campus. People who dressed like me, talked like me, had the same sense of humor; I suddenly felt like I wasn’t unique at all. I saw the person I thought I was staring at me from another table, or laughing with a group of friends. The special calling I thought I had from God was not so special anymore — I was just like everyone else.

Why did I tell this story? Because within the first couple weeks of being at Biola, I found myself questioning everything I thought I knew about myself. I was bombarded with Strength Quest, Myers-Briggs and other personality assessments. Who am I?

But that’s thing about personality assessments – they’re generic, and they determine who you are by how you answer a hundred questions. But as human beings made in the image of God, we are more than just a hundred questions. Paul in his letter to the church of Corinth noticed the uniqueness of the individuals in the body of Christ. He called us “individual members.” Some are eyes, others ears, hands, etc. God recognizes our individuality and unique spiritual gifts he has given us (and yes, you do have them, read Ephesians).

So just because someone else wants to be a writer for the Los Angeles Times, or start a smoothie business, or be a social worker, or go to Africa does not mean that you are not unique. Don’t get freaked when someone tells you that you are like someone else or that they are an INSJ, too. Those are only small parts of what make up who we are, and God is the one who sees us for everything we are. This is a comforting thought because he is the one who has our future in his hands.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

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