1.05.2012

Need to Go Easy on the J


No, I am not into marijuana. The "J" I am referring to is the "judging" half of the "judging vs. perceiving (P)" split. J's like things buttoned up, while P's like to keep things loose. Think of social plans: J's want them to be set, while P's want to keep options open.'

As with all Myers-Briggs splits, neither is inherently better or worse than the other, but people do tend to lean one way or the other. And, in Myers-Briggs parlance, I am a hard J, something on the order of 90/10. People often compliment me for getting stuff done, but may not know the driving force behind that isn't competence or smarts as much as it is an almost maniacal need to be done with something and not have it hanging out there.

Of course, in life it is impossible to be "done." Work projects come faster than they can be completed, relationships require ongoing cultivation, kids are ever evolving, and the world's problems have a nasty habit of just hanging around. For hard J's, our J-ness can become a source of anxiety, frustration, and despondency.

"Stop and smell the roses" is such a trite screed, and yet there is some truth to it. Better still is a mindset that remembers that God is in control, and that His timing and resolution are perfect: things will eventually resolve on His watch, and they will do so at the perfect moment. Indeed, to be a hard J and chafe in light of so much that is up in the air is to commit a grievous sin, of doubting in God's goodness, sovereignty, and timing.

If you are more on the P side, I hope you won't just dismiss my rantings this morning with a "loosen up, buddy" (even though I do need to hear that), because these are important soul matters and I am wrestling with them. If you are a fellow J, I hope you will be similarly exhorted, as I am exhorting myself. And whether J or P, let's go to the truest source of peace, which is a God who is running things, and who will eventually make all things right that are not right.

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