If you have been online a lot over the past decade, you have probably seen one of those personality quizzes that pop up online or on social media. Personally, I think these quizzes are fun, and it is a little exciting to see what the results will be each time. Most of these quizzes are designed to figure out if you are more introverted or extroverted, or to see if you rely on facts or emotions to make your decisions. Many people will get a result at one end of the spectrum or the other, and some will find themselves right in the middle. For me, the questionnaires usually come back with a similar answer. I am always somewhere in the middle. Basically, I am introverted, extroverted, factual and emotional all at the same time. I say all of this to say, each one of us is different in how we process information and how we interact with people in the world.
Growing up, I was raised by great Christian parents and was surrounded by a wonderful Church family. My parents and teachers taught me the importance of facts and truth while at the same time showed me the love, compassion, and passion that can come out of the heart of a true servant of God. While I truly believe I was taught and shown clearly what it means to be a true servant of God, it has not always been easy to be both factual and filled with emotion.
In the “Christian” culture in the United States, some people are under the impression that a true Christian is solely fact-based and never emotional. Others believe that a real Christian needs to rely more on their emotions and use facts as just a partial guide. Within the Church, there are congregations and individuals that some would label to be liberal or progressive and other congregations and individuals that others would label to be conservative or traditional. So, which is it? Should I just rely on facts? Should I mainly use my emotions? Is there another option?
In Acts 2:37-47, when the people on the day of Pentecost realized they had crucified the Christ, they were “cut to the heart”. These three thousand souls heard the Truth of the Gospel, and it changed them intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. They repented and were baptized for the remission of their sins and were added to the Church by the Lord. As they began to live their Christian lives, they would demonstrate truth, faith, love, and passion. They were filled with the Truth of the Word as well as emotion. They hated sin but loved souls. Isn’t this how we are supposed to be?
Now some of you may be thinking about your own personality. You may be more introverted than extroverted. Or maybe you are more facts-based than emotion-based. Some of you may even be like me and fall somewhere in the middle. But no matter what kind of personality you have, that does not change the facts of the Gospel nor does it change the heart and passion that we are to have as His children.
The Word of God is not to be changed or watered down to fit our emotions, and we cannot be so fearful of emotion that we take the heart out of Christianity. Our goal should not be to be known as a liberal or a conservative, but we should instead seek to be known as Christians that follow the truth of the Word and do so out of a loving and passionate heart.