by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 1/15/15

Do you ever find yourself taking one of those online personality tests? I have to admit, they are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. Maybe you, too, are a personality test junkie who is ready with the click of a mouse or the dot of your number-two pencil to answer nearly any series of questions that promise to tell you more about…well… you. If you are like me then you know your Myers-Briggs type (ENFP), which character from the Lord of the Rings franchise you are most like (Gimli) and whether you are a winter or autumn in fashion (neither). We like to quantify our lives through these fun, quasi-factual, somewhat facetious tests.   

It is fun to find a new label for yourself or to further define who you think you are. It’s also a little bit addicting. And maybe a little narcissistic. Does it really tell you who you are from a divine perspective? Are you more aware of larger “why” questions in life if everything is all about your life.
The Psalmists provide an antidote for those of us who find their own lives blissfully fascinating. The only thing more vast than our own egos, our own liking of ourselves, is the knowledge that there is a God who is much bigger than even our own self-interested interests. Consider Psalm 139, as it moves from our fascination with ourselves to our wonder at God. “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.”
What we find when we find the end of ourselves is God. When we come to the end of ourselves, we are drawn into something larger than our own life. We are drawn into the life of God. If we keep looking into ourselves, maybe we can learn to look beyond ourselves.