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Guest Post: Daughters of the King Don’t Take Personality Tests

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Jessica Pickowicz Personality Tests

Daughters of the King Don’t Take Personality Tests
by Jessica Pickowicz

Scrolling through my Facebook news feed this week I must have come across at least half a dozen personality tests all calling to me — all begging me to answer their questions so each one could tell me who I really am. Am I an introvert or an extrovert? Am I emotional or intellectual? Am I an Anna or an Elsa? (Okay, broke down and took that one!)

One test analyzed finger lengths by having the reader match her hand to various images of hands; each hand shape was assigned a different personality type.

Another test was ready to label its curious victim as a lion, golden retriever, otter, or other mammal.

And there are always those zodiacs lurking around ready to tell you exactly who you are and how you are feeling today.

So what’s the draw? Why are we (I’m speaking to women specifically) so eager to have some secular psychology test, some dim-witted computer algorithm, or some pagan superstition profile our personalities and define our character?

It’s been said that “the greatest human desire is to be KNOWN.” We just want to be known. In our broken flesh, we want to be honored, accepted, validated, and loved. And for a person who is godless, these tests are downed like painkillers. They are momentary relief, momentary security, in a world of pain, bewilderment, and fear — a world of feeling unknown.

I’ve been there myself. Before Christ, I was a junkie for this stuff. I loved my daily “horror-scope” and was especially eager to read the “love and romance” section. Why? Because when you’re lonely, when you don’t know a thing about God, His providence, sovereignty, sufficiency, and most of all His love, you reach for these things to soothe. It was a comfort to believe, even for a moment, that someone or something was steering my ship; that fate, chance, astrology, or even science could give me some direction and navigation through this life.

But here is the BIG trouble. The inexcusable rebellion is when churches pander to this. It is when churches administer these personality tests in a veiled attempt to help believers discover their spiritual gifts, identity, and purpose. It is when churches look anywhere but to His divine power for anything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

As Christians, ladies, we must reject this false teaching. Say it with me, “I am a daughter of royal birth. My Father is King of Heaven and Earth.” What more, in Heaven and Earth, do we need when our Father is the Most High God?! We must not search anywhere but Scripture for our purpose, calling, gifting, and direction. For “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Nothing about these personality tests are biblical or God-glorifying. And here are some reasons why.

1. Personality tests put the focus on self-identity and not on our chief end. Essentially, personality tests are egocentric. When we are self-focused we don’t see or appreciated the greater scope of God’s mighty, sovereign, and providential work in our lives. It’s a form of pride to be preoccupied with self-identification, covertly seeking one’s own glory. However, when I look beyond myself and I realize God’s plan for me isn’t really about me; it’s about Him and His glory, then my striving in this life should only be this: to be less like myself (or whatever best version of myself I am aspiring to be) and more like Christ (John 3:30; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1) because I love Him. Once we realize that creation, salvation, and consummation, are all to be “to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:6a, 12, 14), then a personality test will just look like a ridiculous waste of time.

This truth should bring you a great sense of peace, dear sister. The heavy yoke of “finding yourself” is off your shoulders, because you have already been found! Rest in this. Meditate on it.

2. Personality tests stunt sanctification. As we grow in the Lord we change to be more like Christ. These tests have a way of holding us back and pigeon-holing us to a place that might not be in line with God’s will and ultimate plan for our lives. Furthermore, it sets us up to neglect obeying God in areas that (some silly tests said) are “not within our gifting” and robs us of the blessing of serving as needs arise, as God calls. We must understand that our spiritual gifting is far less of a concern of God than our obedience. We must not operate within some comfortable sphere that some test has insulated.

3. Personality tests put man’s wisdom above God’s wisdom. This is similar to the above point. We must remember that His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Sometimes secular psychology and man’s wisdom can seem very smart and very alluring. When it comes to parenting I’ve found myself fighting the desire to scour the internet for advice. But I know that there is no wisdom of man that can beat-out the Wisdom of God found in Scripture (1 Cor. 1:18-31). His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30).

4. Personality tests reinforce and perpetuate a lack of trust in God. When we are looking to a man-made test for validation of our identity and worth we demonstrate distrust, because we are looking to every other place except Him. We were made in His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27), and in salvation, we are re-made as new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore, our sole identity as believers is in Jesus Christ Himself.

5. Personality tests are man’s attempt to undermine God in His power, glory, authority, wisdom, sovereignty, faithfulness, and love. This last point culminates all previous points. If you remember nothing else, remember this.

Here’s my final thought: Earlier I quoted the secular axiom, “The greatest human desire is to be KNOWN.” To a secular world-view the assumption is to be known by other people. For Christians, this must not be our concern whatsoever. The Bible teaches that we must die to self. It teaches that we will be rejected and persecuted for our beliefs. People on this earth will not know (honor, accept, validate, or love) us. However, God knows us. And that, sweet sister, should be all the knowing we need!

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn your back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” Galatians 4:9

In closing, I have a questionnaire of my own.

– Have you been saved by the grace of God through faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross?

– Is your chief end to glorify Him in all things and love Him forever?

– Do you believe that His power gives you everything you need for life and godliness?

– Do you believe the Bible can equip you for every good work?

– Do you trust God’s plan and will for your life?

– Is your identity in Christ alone?

If you have been born again as a Christian, and answered yes to all six questions, then you are undoubtedly a daughter of the Most High God. And as such, you are hereby exempt from all further personality testing.

God intimately knows each and every one of us. And His desire for us, for godly living, is found in His Word. As for our personalities? We are His children, made in His image. So next time you’re tempted to click “Take the Test” don’t waste your time on vain pursuits, opt out, and turn here instead:

Titus 2
Galatians 5
1 Peter 3
Psalm 139
All of Proverbs!
Oh, btw – I’m totally an Anna! (In case you were wondering.)

Jessica is wife to New England pastor Nate Pickowicz. She is a homeschooling mom of two. She is a passionate writer who has a big heart for biblical teaching and women’s ministry.


9 thoughts on “Guest Post: Daughters of the King Don’t Take Personality Tests”

  1. Before I was called I also was into all these things and more, every day I was saturated in it and now 12 years a Christian I am scornful of it all, thankfully the Lord had me turn from every single ‘new age’ discipline almost immediately.. I cannot believe how freeing it is with only my Bible and all else jettisoned. My former church also went through the spiritual gifts test thing and I hated it, 8 weeks of it, absolutely hated it. I was amazed my pastor allowed his wife to lead the ‘study’ but to him the one we did was one of the better ones!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. With all due respect…baloney. Especially on this point: ” Personality tests are man’s attempt to undermine God in His power, glory, authority, wisdom, sovereignty, faithfulness, and love.”

    Although I would not consider any of the pop-culture questionnaires described to be legitimate “personality tests” in any way, shape, or form (although most of them can be harmless, playful fun for those who aren’t putting too much stock in them), the idea that personality tests circumvent (or seek to circumvent) God’s power, wisdom, etc. is simply ridiculous.

    Personality typing systems — and the tests that accompany them — are the same kind of tool as dozens or hundreds or thousands of other tools in the human toolbox: tools that help us APPRECIATE God’s innate design by recognizing and better understanding the patterns within His craftsmanship. We are *wired* to look for patterns in Creation, because we innately recognize that God is a God of order and that He did not create randomly or in chaos, but methodically. Our attempts to see these patterns, however imperfect, are not an affront to Him; they’re a means of glorifying and enjoying Him.

    CAN the use of personality-related tools lead to self-centeredness and/or failure to grown in sanctification? Sure. That’s not a tool problem, though; it’s a heart problem. Even reading the Bible can be done sinfully, if it’s done to puff up, and gain head knowledge without any real relationship. It’s faulty reasoning to blame the gift for the recipient’s abuse of it. And, frankly, it’s sinful to cast judgment and condemnation on sisters in Christ over something the Bible doesn’t really address.

    It sounds an awful lot like the classic, “this was a stumbling block to me; therefore it’s sin for everyone” scenario. Let the sister who “eats” (or who uses personality systems to understand herself and those around her better) do so to the glory of God. And let the one who refrains, refrain to the glory of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boy, I hear where you are coming from Titus2Homemaker. And I appreciate your perspective. However, your statements seem to be reading motives into the OP’s article. She didn’t say she has a personal conviction over it. She made statements that said, these types of tests are dangerous when they are in the church. And I would agree. Our culture, in particular, is very…very self focused. Even as Christians, we will spend more time looking inward at our sin (and there is a rightness to do so, but not so much that we aren’t looking to Christ even more). We don’t need to look at test to see…. what kind of person am I? What is my strength? What is my hidden talent/blessing/gift/spiritual animal… ? We need to turn our eyes…. our affections… heavenward. The questions then…. Lord what would you have me do? Lord I adore you, You alone are my all in all. Grow me in your wisdom…. Clearly the OP has taken these tests (Anna), buthe she is acknowledging it’s a focus that takes our eyes off Christ and put them back on us. I think that is a fair statement. And that is found in Scripture.

      We are quick to say something isn’t found in Scripture and assume it to be license to do it. We all do it to some level on various topics/idols. The real questions should be: Does this help me run the race better? Does this draw me closer to worshipping the One True God? If others are watching (and they are online), is this pointing them to Christ? If I am wrong, am I being a stumbling block to another believer or a new believer or the Gospel?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. God created us to live in community to be a support to each other. Is going to therapy while also being a praying believer to self-focused? Many personality tests have some science behind them. Mine was helpful because it gave clear articulation to the patterns I fall into that are sinful, self-deztructive, hurt others, and make me feel separated from God.

        Can the Holy Spirit also reveal those patterns to a believer, yes, certainly. But is a list of questions that shows a pattern in a person’s answer an evil distraction? No, illogical.

        I didn’t use the test to show me my giftings and strengths, those were already apparent. I appreciated some of what the test revealed to me about some of my natural tendencies toward self-reliance over God reliance, and my need to want to control things around me, both tendencies are demonstrations of a failure to trust God in all things.

        The test helped redirect my efforts back to trusting God in the large and small things.


  3. Dear writer, I respect the ultimate message you are trying to communicate in the essence of a few words: God understands us through and through. It is charitable to write as you do in defense of God’s kingdom.

    One thing that crossed my mind while reading this was that the wisdom of God provided us a book [the bible] to help us be known as we all exercise introspection in each of our lives. How the stories told of others in the Bible helps us to see our own selves in relation to God. It is powerful. Again, thank you for writing!

    Perhaps, I am much more liberal in these areas but I think it’s a lofty claim to say that finding understanding through personality type cannot help other Christians develop in their faith. Rather, you present it as a mal practice as just a way to sum up your words.

    There are two things I consider while reading this. The first is that God created intellect for a given purpose. I mean without intellect I wouldn’t be typing on this keyboard, I wouldn’t even have a platform of which to type on this blog or read its writings. Who knows what treachery took place just to produce this technology. What matters is what we do with what we have been given.

    Intent of a persons use of anything is ultimately what decides idolatry or misuse of a thing. If a persons chief aim is to please God, them the culmination of their actions will result in advancing the kingdom. If a persons chief aim is to please themselves, then the culmination of their actions and will result in a progression away from the kingdom.

    What matters is what we do with what we have. Through learning about my own personality type which is an INFJ I have gathered a plethora of insight into how God has made me uniquely. I love resources such as these because they help me to “be known” so I can relate to others better. That’s really why I am so interested in it. The more I can understand how I think, I learn how to adapt to others in ways that aren’t as abrasive.

    This doesn’t undermine the need for spiritual discipline, however. I consider this an enriching part of personal development. Is it necessary for all persons? Probably not.
    Lastly, I will share an excerpt from an article on spiritual disciplines:

    “Strictly speaking, joy is not a spiritual discipline. That is the fruit or the result of discipline done rightly. So it is that distinction between doing and being. And the spiritual disciplines are about doing. You can do them as a Pharisee. You can do them wrongly motivated. But rightly motivated, they are things that we are to do in order to be like Jesus, to be with Jesus…And so we are not godly just because we practice the spiritual disciplines. That was the great error of the Pharisees. They felt by doing these things they were godly. No, they are means to godliness. Rightly motivated, they are the means to godliness.”

    Just a parallel to how we can mid-use anything.


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