Every once in a while I take one of those "determine your gifts" kind of quizzes. I'm really bad at them, and don't often fill one out willingly. But sometimes I'm in a class where it's required, or my daughter cajoles me into filling it out, or something, and I'm stuck.
The reason I stink at these surveys is simple - I'm too analytic. I don't simply blast through the thing, blithely filling in boxes with the first answer that pops into my head. No, I have to consider each question and think about my response. What is this question getting at? What are they after? I know that it skews the data when I do this, but I can't help myself. I have to consciously force myself to answer with a snap judgment, and it's very foreign to me.
I like to think about things carefully. I'm the sort of guy who proofreads every text and Facebook post twice before sending, just to be sure it really says what I want, and without typos. And I really cannot understand people who don't do this. Do they want to look ignorant? (Watch out - getting dangerously close to rant mode here. Adjusting bearings to get back on course...)
Where were we? Oh, yeah - personality surveys. When I take them, I try to shut my brain off and answer without analysis. But it's hard! I mean, I can be walking through a room past somebody's computer and notice they have a misspelled word in whatever they're writing without breaking stride. I'm not really looking for it - this stuff just jumps out at me. My brain yells, "Hold on! There's something fishy in River City..." and before I know it, I'm offering advice. And sometimes people are not really appreciative when I point these things out. So I'm learning to be rather cautious about saying anything, especially on the Internet. But I can't actually shut it off.
So sometimes I manipulate my survey answers to get the results I want. Of course, if the purpose of the survey is to find out more about yourself, this kind of activity totally frustrates that goal. At times (like when I didn't want to do this in the first place) this doesn't bother me. I find it rather amusing to beat the system (I'll show 'em!)
But once in a while I genuinely want to know more about what motivates me, so I can learn to use my gifts and talents wisely. And then I really try to answer quickly, without analysis. The last time I went through one of these, I wanted reliable data. It was one of those spiritual gift surveys. Pretty much every time I take one of those, I get the same result: Teacher. "Teaching is your motivational gift." This is okay with me - I love teaching and revel in the opportunity to do so.
But I wondered if I was skewing the results through my tendency to analyze everything.
(See, I'm analyzing THAT!)
So I tried to rocket through the test with little to no deliberation. And my result was: Teacher. Shocking, I know.
But there was an interesting result - I had a second area which scored just as high. Music! I love music, love listening to it and making it and sharing it with friends and family. Never thought of it as a spiritual gift before, and it was pretty cool. Now I understand me a little better.
I'm two-pronged, analytic and artistic. I find both teaching and music exhilarating and fulfilling.
I can worship in word and in song. Really, I'm thankful that God knows me so well and allows me to function in the unique areas of gifting He's given me. There are plenty of things I can't do, lots of stuff I don't know. I'm learning to use what I have for His glory.
I really thought this post would be more about the role of music in my life, but my brain hijacked the thread. So that will have to wait for another time. Let me end with the Obligatory Scripture Reference: "What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding."1 Corinthians 14:15 NKJV
I guess if it was good enough for the Apostle Paul, I can embrace it, too.