Most people have now heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test, and the younger you are, the more assessments you have been asked to take to find the box you will be the most comfortable in. Although it can be taken too far, there are some incredibly helpful insights within exploring who God created you to be!
When it came to how I make decisions, based on thinking or feeling, I completely tipped the scales. Emotions were barely a factor. Logic reigns!
This is how God has wired me, but this also relates to my brokenness. My comfort spot is relating to God, others, and the world completely through the head. I knew there were aspects of my heart that were important, and I celebrated others who connected at a heart level, but I honestly did not even know how to understand or interact with my own emotions and passions.
Theodyssey has helped me on that journey. After about 5 years of really hard work, I can now recognize a small portion of emotions as they happen, but still have very little clue how to express them. This is not just an inability to cry, but also an inability to fully celebrate.
Yet I am hopeful. Because there is movement. Baby steps.
One of the breakthroughs for me in this process was realizing what a specific word, used often within the New Testament, actually meant. “Knowledge.”
For one example, look at Philippians 1:9-11:
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”
Whenever I read “knowledge”, I think head knowledge. Where I can read, think, and study to become smarter and better than others. When I went to seminary, I honestly thought the more I knew about God, the closer I would feel to Him. The journey to intimacy started with head knowledge, which would magically turn into heart knowledge through no effort of my own. Although there is no human relationship where this is true, somehow I thought it was different with God. Well when I graduated seminary with a increased amount of head knowledge, and was being licensed as a pastor, I felt very distant from God. And this started my journey of spiritual formation.
If you look up the Greek word for Knowledge in this situation (epignōsei) within a Lexicon (I just use BibleHub), you get the following definition:
“Knowledge gained through first-hand relationship”. Properly, “contact-knowledge” that is appropriate to first-hand, experiential knowing. This is defined by the individual context.
This is WAY different than just studying about God. I need to know about God’s love experientially. I have to understand it ata heart level. I want to speak about the character of God because of who I have seen Him to be in my life instead of what I read about Him.
I’ll be honest: I don’t really know how to bridge this gap. It feels very foreign. But I have hope. And desire. It gives me a new framework to run after and confidence that it is possible to know God at an intimate level. Although intimacy feels like a scary word to a “head” person, I desire that with God. To experience true friendship. I’m merely responding to the invitation even if the process will be slow and gradual.
Adjusting my end goal and believing it was possible has been a game-changer.