Push-Me-Pull-You: Personalty and Faith

pushmepullyouINFP.  S with a strong dose of C and I thrown in.   Alphabet soup—that’s what I am, or at least that’s what it seems like.  Actually, they are the results of two different personality profile inventories not just a few letters thrown together.

Sometimes I feel like that—a bunch of traits thrown together.  Not just letters that tell the world (or the world in the know) that I’m an Introverted Feeling INtuitive Perceiver, or that I love harmony, loyalty and steadiness with some perfectionism and fun thrown in for good measure.  Some days I feel like a jumble.

Perhaps I would be if it weren’t for my faith.  On the one hand it grounds me.  Faith helps me settle into who I am–who I was created to be.

Knowing that I’m created in the image of God gives me the strength to accept myself.  My willfulness, my creativity, my ability to pay attention to minutia while missing the mound in the middle of the room are not mistakes.  They are part of the me God knit together in my mother’s womb.

I’m under no delusion that my personality is perfect.  I’m all too familiar with my faults.  I can lose sight of the big picture.  I don’t always have realistic expectations for others.  I can perceive criticism where none existed.  In the name of harmony I don’t always confront when I should.  Imperfections?  I’m full of them, but I can accept them and work to change them for the better.

On the other hand, faith pushes me.  It helps me stretch beyond who I am left to my own devices.  Without faith, I might embrace who I am so wholeheartedly that I wouldn’t set any goals for myself.

I wouldn’t try to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self control.  I wouldn’t be bold to proclaim truth in the face of lies.  I wouldn’t step out into uncertainty.  I might be stuck.

In many ways my faith provides both the security I need to accept myself and the kick I need to move beyond myself.  It’s the Push-Me-Pull-You . . . or really, I should say, it’s the Push-Me-Pull-Me.

picture courtesy of Paul Kentish


(I’m participating in Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week she’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith related topic.  Today’s post is my riff on “How Does Your Faith Affect Your Personality?” If you’re interested in the notes others added to this Faith Jam, go check out her site and follow the links.)

10 responses to “Push-Me-Pull-You: Personalty and Faith”

  1. I love your final statement “In many ways my faith provides both the security I need to accept myself and the kick I need to move beyond myself”

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Push-me-Pull-you is another wonderful way of describing “abiding”. It is an acceptance and it’s also a nudge to stretch us closer to Jesus. I am using this in a talk I’m giving next week on abiding! Thank you for that, Sheryl! Love having you in the jam today! 🙂

  3. I’d never thought of it as abiding, Bonnie. I like that! Thanks for the new picture. You’re welcome. I’m glad a few of my words are useful to you. I love being part of the jam. It’s a great exercise in thinking and writing, and it’s fun to see others’ takes on the topic. Thanks for leading the way!

  4. I loved this Sheryl!! Faith allows us to accept who we are, while also stretching us to be more!! Thanks for the great picture! And for stopping by my blog too 😉

  5. Charissa and Katy—so glad to write with you! I love the way our connection to Bonnie’s blog, our words, and our faith knit us together and give us new perspectives.

  6. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, as well as the content!

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