If you were to describe yourself in five words, what would they be?

Perhaps you said adventurous, creative, intelligent, kind, brave. Or maybe you might’ve used the words driven, independent, happy, nurturing, bold. Or it’s possible they would have been less positive descriptors.

Was it difficult to think of words or were you able to immediately recollect them?

Are these self-prescribed labels entirely accurate or false? Positive or negative? Perhaps a mix of both?

Are they words you could pick out in your closest friends?

More than the great synonyms of our identity, these terms are an external expression of the person we are right now and who we want to be tomorrow. It’s more than a commentary on the individual, it extends to the community as a whole.

Understanding our varying personalities leads to a more comprehensive grasp on the condition of our relationships.

Self awareness is a Biblical principle and a call to action. We are urged to repent and confess, which is ultimately a reminder of our depravity as we continue to pursue holiness. It is a deep knowledge of our shortcomings and our need for God. It is a deepening knowledge of what God has done for us and how it affects our posture of gratitude toward him.

Our knowledge of ourselves parallels with our knowledge of God. It also equips us with language to describe the whys and hows.

How do we expect friendships to go?

How do we enter into healthy friendships?

How do we exit toxic friendships?

Why?

More well-known personality assessments, like Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder and Love Languages are often used not only for individual use, but also for corporate and romantic value. This is important to recognize because having a better understanding of others will allow an individual to operate and best contribute to a two or multi-dimensional relationship.

Other personality tests, like the Enneagram and True Colors also contribute to perceiving how you operate, love, strategize and why you value certain strengths, why you are prone to particular weaknesses and why you react the way you do.

Beginning this new year, if you haven’t already, reflect more specifically on yourself and your friendships and resolve to make more sense of how we were uniquely made to give and receive love well in our relationships.