Category Archives: Spiritual Sensitivity

Myers-Briggs, Disciples, and Walking on Water


MBTI and Walking on Water

I’m a huge fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (if you’ve never taken this good personality inventory, try it). I am an INFJ, which calls a *Counselor*.

Counselors, by God-given personality, read things. Books, for one. But mostly people, situations, organizations. INFJ’s read a situation and know at a gut level, what’s going to happen next. They tend to intuit people’s abilities and intentions, too (which makes us good therapists).

But like any good gift, there is a bifurcation. (I learned that fun word from C.S. Lewis. Essentially it means: For every good and perfect gift God puts in us, satan tries to come up with a negative reflection of that- almost an opposite but with a seed of the truth in it- to try to draw us away from the gift.)

For an INFJ, the bifurcation is: being right but being ignored and feeling devastated by the outcome.

Ok, so what the heck does that have to do with walking on water, one might ask? I was practicing my Lectio Divina today on Mark 6- the Jesus walking on water story. I asked myself: I wonder what was each of the disciples’ MBTI?

Then I imagined that if I was one of them, with my INFJ-ness, this would have been the scenario:


Long day feeding the 5000, listening to sermons, healing folks, whatnot…


Jesus says to the disciples, “Hey, y’all get in the boat and head over to Gennesaret. I’ll send away the crowds, pray a bit and meet you shortly.”

INFJ-ness kicks in, I whisper to Jesus, because He might have forgotten, “Ummm, are you sure you want to head over to Gennesaret so soon? I mean to say, they asked us to leave last time because you healed the crazy guy by sending all his demons into all their pigs- who all promptly drowned themselves. Think we ought to give it a bit more time?….. AND BTW- You see there’s a storm brewing. Is it a good idea to be in a boat tonight?”

All true and useful observations.

I image that Jesus’ answer would probably been something along the lines of a longsuffering stare (like we parents give our kids) which means, “Quit arguing and get in the boat.”

AND being INFJ, if I was a disciple in the boat and the storm starts railing, I’d be saying to myself, “I told Him so. I’m not a valued member of the team. Why would He make me an INFJ if I wasn’t supposed to use it?”

AH! and then the moment of discernment. There are often 2 true but incongruent realities (if you want more on that, read Lewis’ Till We Have Faces). The earthly, tangible realm is full of storms. The spirit realm is more real, though, and it is full of walking on waters and going to Gennesarets. And whether my INFJ brain can comprehend it, the walking on waters and the going to Gennesarets are the points of it all- I don’t need to understand why.

The following of God’s lead. That’s the point. No matter what our MBTI is 🙂

Talking With God in Everyday Life


Have you ever noticed that there are lots of ways we humans talk with each other?

-Sometimes we sit face-to-face and discuss serious things.

-Sometimes we work alongside each other and conversation helps move the work along.

-Sometimes we busily call instructions from another room.

-Sometimes we just sit quiet and are “with” the other person.

I think that we can talk to God in these ways, also.

-Sometimes we sit and have “devotional prayer time”.

-Sometimes we’re working and chatting with him about the work, or asking for Help, or complaining to Him about it…

-Sometimes we cry out for help while dashing about daily life.

-Sometimes we sit quietly and listen to Him, or just sit and be “with” Him.

I think this is part of what Brother Lawrence was explaining in the classic, “The Practice of the Presence of God”. We are always with God and He with us, so we should get into the mindset of noticing and keeping the communication going- in lots of different ways.

Spiritual Sensitivity


My pastor works also as a baseball coach. He talks about drilling his players over and over so that they develop “muscle memory”. They don’t need to think about what to do in the middle of a play- their body just knows.

The same thing happens in public speaking. For years I coached homeschoolers on their public speaking skills. If they practiced over and over, they developed the “dominant response”. When they stepped to the platform and experienced a surge of stage fright, it was okay because the dominant response kicked in. Their brain and body simply made the speech happen- it knew what to do.

I think it is a similar thing in prayer. We want to pray, as often as we can, according to God’s will. BUT how do develop the spiritual sensitivity- the “knowingness” to know His will? We’re more likely to be sensitive spiritually if we know His voice.

We know His voice when we know His Word.

We know His Word when we know Scripture.

Jesus said in John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

You can develop your spiritual sensitivity by learning His voice well: by learning His Words spoken in Scripture. Learn His Word by reading often, by lectio devina, by meditation on His word, by prayer that quotes His Word back to Him.

Try this:

You have something you are concerned about, right? You want to know God’s will regarding that thing. Ask God for a Scripture that you can pray. Then, as part of your prayer time, start reading your Bible. Read until you run into that verse that jumps off the page and speaks to your heart. Begin offering that Scripture up the the Lord in your prayer time. See what He shows you…

In the meantime, you can develop that spiritual muscle memory to know the Scripture as a whole VERY well. Read it prayerfully till you know the whole story!