I have taken personality tests many times throughout my life and I always scored the same – in the “D” quadrant – a direct communicator. Only three percent of the world scores in that category and I understood why. Direct communicators do have redeeming qualities but communication isn’t one of them. Generally, I experienced problems communicating with the other ninety seven percent of the population; I was misunderstood, and as a result, I was often mistreated.
I became a software engineer which allowed me to work with limited interaction with people as I frequently found that when I did interact for any length of time, I would eventually offend them somehow.
Looking back, I realized that I would often speak the truth without love, not understanding the ramifications. My mother affectionately referred to my brother and me as the “Sons of Thunder,” the nickname that Jesus gave to James and John when they wanted to call fire down from heaven to incinerate a village that had rejected Jesus. But there was hope: after all, John had become the love guy – the one who wrote all about love in the gospel of John as well as the books of first, second, and third John.
But now I was in devotions and the Lord said to me:
“I want you to become more affable”
I thought about it; how could I possibly do that? Then it came to me: I would become a greeter at the church. After all, how much trouble could I get into by just saying good morning? So I joined the greeting team, which consisted of fifteen greeters at the time, but within two weeks I was asked to become a leader, which meant that I would be building relationships with others in the group. So, I accepted the position and trusted that the Lord would protect me, since I was in this position from obedience to His command.
As the months passed, I found that I had a love for people that I had not previously understood. I truly felt compassion for all of these people, like I was in a large family. It was then that the director of the greeters left the church and we were left in a conundrum: we lacked direction, so I began to perform those duties to keep the group intact. I was now leading 31 people by default; no doubt, the Lord’s design. Five months after I had begun greeting, I sent an email to the group asking each greeter a question concerning the logistics of greeting schedules and I received one reply that used the minimum words possible, just a direct straight answer with no softening – it almost seemed rude. Taken aback, I actually remarked aloud “That person is mean.” Immediately the Holy Spirit said:
“That was you.”
I have learned upon hearing the Lord’s voice, that He is altogether unlike us: He does not say something and take it back, nor does He say things He does not mean. He had used the past tense; He had said that WAS me, but not anymore!
He had changed me on the inside. Because He said it, I had obeyed, and because I obeyed, He performed His Word. He had changed the very core of who I was in six months; something I had been unable to accomplish in 53 years.
There were 15 greeters when the Lord placed me in that group; now six months later, there were 31; and within a month of Lord saying “that was you,” He had more than doubled the leaders in the group and I had been asked to “lead the leaders.”
The Lord had placed me in a situation for spiritual growth, and because I obeyed, He blessed me with charisma and love for others; and the church was also blessed in the process…