Monday, May 21, 2012

My view looking at myself

One of the things I have worked on for years is knowing and understanding myself.  I have taken a large variety of assessments and critiques and I know what is good and bad.  I know that I am pretty interdependent, which is good and bad.  I have a tendency to isolate myself, don't form a lot of close connections and struggle to maintain healthy relationships outside of my immediate family.  I don't like to depend or rely on others, not strong at working in a group.  I have developed some leadership skills and qualities, they are not my natural tendency, my natural and default mode is independent work, which is why I am drawn to cars and computers and other task oriented things. 

I am pretty abstract, I think outside the box and I am pretty imaginative.  I am a theoretical thinker, which leads me in the direction of theologian and academic.  I don't like to be wrong, I like even less to be criticized, I don't particularly look for esteem or accolades either, mostly would just like to be left alone.  I struggle to do things that I don't see the value in, if I value or believe in something I'll work myself to death to make it happen.  If I don't fully believe in it, then I will do what I have too, but I have a hard time getting all in to it.  I am not particularly confrontational, but if it needs to happen, I usually end up being the one who starts off.   I have found myself in many leadership roles by default or by accident, where I was put in that position.  I am very analytical, I look for deeper issues in almost everything.  When it comes to problems, people, organizations when there is a problem I analyze it and look for the root of the issue, I don't want to deal with surface issues. 

When I get angry or frustrated I shut down, I don't express emotions as a general rule, I bottle up everything and repress it.  I love to share ideas and concepts with people, I enjoy teaching and leading in learning activities.  My leadership abilities are best expressed in a discipleship or teaching environment.  I enjoy writing and I try to read a great deal.  When I have a close relationship, I will invest a great deal into it, like with my wife and my kids.  I don't have a need to prove myself to anyone, but I do try to encourage and support people.  I care what people think, but I don't have a drive to try to impress them or make them think I am wonderful.  If someone dislikes me, it doesn't bother me much, because I am not a person oriented individual.  In my years of ministry, I have had to really work on connecting with people and not on the tasks to do.  Large groups who I have to interact with, especially in a social and unstructured environment exhaust me.  I have some anxiety that often centers around random things, and I am hard on myself often, I will beat myself up over my failures or conceived failures.  I don't like to have weakness or need because that puts me at the dependence of other people, and I hate that.  I have to really work on being connected to the Body of Christ and expressing need and letting people help and support me.  My flesh tends to push me towards isolation. 

I am cynical and have a melancholy, sarcastic and sometimes dark sense of humor.  I'm not particularly trusting of people.  I have the ability to read people pretty well, I have a knack for seeing what is really driving a person, and it sometimes leaves me suspect of motives.  I think many people are driven by motivations they are not even aware of.  In this country, we have celebrated pride and ego to the point it drives many leaders and they are unaware, but that's another matter.  I have to force myself to trust, I am suspicious and cautious.  I have a hard time with people who seem to have all the answers, because that means they aren't really asking the questions.  I want to see what is deeper in life, find the truth and examine the depths, and the shallowness I see makes me frustrated. 

I am very aware of my own condition most of the time, I stop and think about how I am thinking, how I am feeling and what is going on.  I am aware when I am a little manic, I am aware when I am struggling with some depression, I am aware when things are clicking and when things are not.  I'm not afraid to walk away from something that isn't working (other than my marriage).  I am committed to Jesus Christ and to Elaine, my kids are my kids forever, but if a job, organization, position, ministry, title or position isn't working, then I'm out.  I'm not in this to play games, build credentials, impress constituents or make money.  I do what I do to serve Christ, and if that isn't happening, I'll find someplace it will.  If Paul left places, broke company and went where the Spirit told him too and didn't go where it told him not to go, then it's good enough for me.  I could care less what American culture says about it, the American ideals that are not biblical and the notions we buy into about being great, or even "good enough". 

I worry the culture has changed Christians more than Christians have changed the culture, and I don't want to be part of it.  I want to be Biblical and sold out to Christ.  I will mold, shape and conform however I have to in order to fit that model.  In that context, I can and will work with anyone in any place.  I will do what I have to do to help, get along, get in line and fit where I am called.  When God puts me somewhere, I am there until He tells me I can do (not that sometimes I don't request to go).  I get frusterated when I feel trapped, when I feel like I am at the mercy of someone, especially if I don't particularly trust them.  I don't like games, I don't like politics and I don't like it when people are shady.  I am sort of a lay it all on the table sort of guy.

I struggle with having a disciplined schedule.  I am not much of a schedule sort of guy.  I do what I need to do when I need to do it and tackle things as they come or in order as they come up or importance.  I often work on multiple things at the same time, and I converse and work simultaneously sometimes.  I like to stay busy and have things going and plates spinning.  When there are things undone, I like the get them check off.  I don't leave unread e-mails in my inbox, I don't leave unread text messages.  I don't put CDs in the wrong case, I want my books put back right in my book shelf.  I can't stand it when someone opens something without using the already opened item (like shampoo or ketchup).  I don't like to discuss items with people who say they are open minded, but in reality are convinced of their own opinion and just want to tell you why you are wrong.

This is not an exhaustive list, this is not all of why I am, but this is much of what makes me up and how I operate.  Much of this I struggle though, I want Christ to be expressed in me.  Much of the issues are in my flesh, which I strive and seek to crucify each day, but I am not always successful.  I am constantly striving to become less so He can become more.

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