Inner Piece: Diving Into My Divisive Nature

I like to argue, my wife says. We took the Myers-Briggs personality test. I am an ENTP ( Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving) personality, better referred to as “The Debater”. Well what does that mean, Matt? Well let’s quote it from 16personalites.com.

“ The ENTP personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see. Unlike their more determined Judging (J) counterparts, ENTPs don’t do this because they are trying to achieve some deeper purpose or strategic goal, but for the simple reason that it’s fun. No one loves the process of mental sparring more than ENTPs, as it gives them a chance to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, broad accumulated knowledge base, and capacity for connecting disparate ideas to prove their points.

Playing the devil’s advocate helps people with the ENTP personality type to not only develop a better sense of others’ reasoning, but a better understanding of opposing ideas — since ENTPs are the ones arguing them.

This tactic shouldn’t be confused with the sort of mutual understanding Diplomats (NF) seek — ENTPs, like all Analyst (NT) personality types, are on a constant quest for knowledge, and what better way to gain it than to attack and defend an idea, from every angle, from every side.” 16personalites.com

I find myself on Facebook for hours arguing with people. There’s one thing the personality assessment reads wrong, at least from 16personalities.com website. Of course, I want to learn and gain knowledge and continue to better understand opposing ideas, but I don’t give up on my beliefs. The assessment makes it out as if ENTPs are so flexible with new thoughts and ideas they will drop old ones whether they are good or not. I have core beliefs that I continually advocate. I do challenge them from time to time, however I never abandon them at a whim. I also allow for an emotional or personal component to arguments as long as it can be backed up with reason.

I say all that, and I (hopefully) start this Medium blogging back up, because I’m a Christian. I hold to what some people may consider a fundamental point of view about my faith. I weigh and measure everything equally under my belief system. All actions and thoughts are judged equally, and also given grace just as equally. I judge myself first and foremost to these standards, but they do not waiver from the context of any other. Therefore I have an opinion on most subjects, and I will uphold to that standard.

Lady Justice

I don’t won’t there to be any type of confusion. I feel as though I have a place to share opinions of that which I find to be right and wrong, however I can not judge on upon the consequences of said opinions. I may see something that I find to be wrong, and I can hold to the opinion that said thing is wrong. I can not tell you the consequences of said thing, and I feel that is where this stigma of judgement becomes convoluted.

I’m sure everyone, at least in America, has heard the phrase “Only God can judge me”. This is a correct assumption being that only God can judge the consequences of your thoughts, intentions, and actions, however I have the capability, knowledge, and sources to see something as right or wrong.

But I can still tell you what you’re doing is wrong.

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21–24 (NIV)

I’ve heard this scripture quoted out of context many times. “Well we are all sinners and fall short, and so we’re never going to be perfect.” This is an excuse used to continue in wrong doing or mediocrity. If we’re all sinners and fall short what is the point of striving forward to perfection if we will never reach it? The writer of Romans goes further in chapter 3 and into chapter 4 about how we are justified through faith and therefore do not have the capacity to boast about how righteous and awesome we are. But then the writer asks this question in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” The writer goes on to say in verse two, “By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

I stand behind my beliefs. I leave room for inquiry and questioning and reasoning, but it HAS to stand up to the test. I know some will say this is a very narrow point of view and I am closed minded. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” Matthew 7:13–14 (NIV).

Jesus goes on to say talk about false prophets, and false disciples and he leaves with this, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash,” Matthew 7:24–27 (NIV).

If you hear his words, and put them into practice you will be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. It’s sturdy, and does not waiver. But if you build your house on sand the rains of the world will wash your house away. If you accept the opinions of those that change like the winds you have nothing firm to stand upon, and you will never have a firm opinion on anything.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:2–8 (NIV)

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Matthew Glover is the owner/operator of Dream Spinner Films, LLC. in Plant City, FL, and associate video producer for The Crossing Church in Tampa, FL. He has written and directed four short films, including Under The Gallows which placed in the Top 200 in HBO’s 2014 Project Greenlight Competition.

Matthew spends most of his time at home in Plant City with his wife writing, and planning more films.

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