Imagine if you put lions, otters, beavers, and a few golden retrievers all in the same room. What do you think would happen?
Talk about crazy. It’d be like Wild Kingdom in there.
There’s no surprise why. They’re nothing alike. They each approach the world through their own unique perspective and don’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything.
By this point, if you’re not familiar with the concept or the terminology, I should tell you that the scenario I just described isn’t an actual zoo (although it can sure feel like one some days).
It’s your home.
Our guest on today’s program is Dr. John Trent, who designed a creative way to help people understand the four personality types. Each of us may have characteristics in one or more of these temperaments, but we usually have one that’s dominant.
Lions like to take charge and are good at making decisions. They’re goal-oriented, competitive, and tend to pursue objectives aggressively. They enjoy challenges and difficult assignments.
Otters are social. They love people. They usually have a lot of friends and enjoy having fun and goofing around. They’re a walking party.
Golden Retrievers are loyal. They usually only have a few friends, but those relationships tend to be deep. They don’t like big changes because they relish security. They’re also caring and sensitive to others’ needs.
Beavers are organized and love structure. They think there is a right way to do everything, so they strive to do everything in exactly that way. That usually means they’ll take the time necessary to do it right. Beavers are also very creative. Like I said, when all of these different personalities live under one roof, the stage is set for misunderstanding and conflict.
Today, Dr. Trent will talk to us about how to tame that wild kingdom. It starts with this: “Different” doesn’t mean “wrong.” In fact, the Bible is clear that our differences are wired into us:
“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body” (1 Cor. 12:17-19, ESV).
That verse speaks to one of God’s greater purposes in creating differing personalities. He places us with people that are different than us, not to frustrate us, but to build patience and compassion for others into our lives and to make us more whole and integrated people.
By the way, if this is a new concept to you, there’s a fun quiz at our website you can take as a family to help each of you discover your unique personality. You’ll not only find out what strengths your personality offers, but some of the areas to watch out for to keep your relationships strong.