How well do we know ourselves? I have had the opportunity, as I am sure you have, to take assessments, to help me better understand who I am. I have taken the Temperament Assessment, identified by Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine. This assessment helps one to understand whether they are an introvert or extrovert, watcher or doer, optimist or pessimist, the thinker or the talker, along with other findings. Another assessment is the SCOPE Personality Scales, which helps one to understand how they relate in areas of social situations, how they deal with change, how organized and persistent a person is in daily life, their interactions with other people and their tendency to deal with stress and its outcome. I have also taken other assessments that made me aware of other areas of my life.
Each time I took an assessment, for the most part, I was not surprised. When I read the results, I could see myself in the answers. However, in some areas, I was a bit surprised. I would ask myself, “Is that really me?” The assessments made me stop and re-consider certain traits, temperaments, attitudes and features of my life.
Maybe you have never taken such an assessment. Maybe you have. I recently ran across a list of “dogs” and their characteristics in a social setting. Just for the fun of it, let’s look at a few different types of dogs, and try to pick out our behavior in a social setting. Let me add, this is not a scientific assessment.
-The Show Dog- very visible, looks good, even too cute to sweat. The show dog desires to be admired, to be #1 in every situation, but rarely does anything to help others. When too many show dogs gather in one gathering, neglect often sits in.
-The Lap Dog- requires lots of time and attention and needs lots of petting and pampering. I guess you could call this dog the “squeaky wheel”.
-The Fyce Dog—used in hunting. Baits and enrages the prey by biting and nipping at the heels; the bite and bark are dangerous. This dog is guilty of character assassination and causes lots of conflict with others.
-The Guard Dog—watchful, but sometimes mean. As a rule, he is strong and useful. He is willing to man his post, always present, and for the most part faithful. In a fight, he is difficult to beat, very protective of his, and always operates in the best interest of those he is protecting.
–The Seeing-Eye Dog—cousin to the guard dog. Specializes in protection of individuals. He notices danger in advance and even nudges others to protect them, to keep them safe.
-The Hunting Dog—well trained and skillful. He always knows what his goal is, what he is looking for, eager to get into the woods and does so without being made to go. He lets nothing stand in his way, and always gives more than he takes.
-The Pure Bred Dog—highly specialized, aware of specific tasks and responsibilities, understands who he is and what he must do. He is willing to do his part and share with others.
-Heinz 57 Dog—nothing special, usually has a big heart, willing to do anything, willing to be placed in any position without any special recognition.
Did you see yourself? Regardless of the outcome, let us be willing to look at ourselves, test ourselves, so that we can know who we really are. The ultimate goal is to make sure that we reflect Jesus Christ. “Pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22)