Now if we stop and think about it for a minute, we all know people, emotional people, who come at things more through their emotions than through say their mind or their will. And we all know people, the detailed thinkers, who come at things more through their minds than say through their emotions, and so on.

It turns out - and this is reflected in the "my personality GPS" tool of understanding ourselves from a biblical perspective - that those four, the heart, the soul, the will and the mind, are really important in understanding who we are.

The second text comes from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Roman Church (the book of Romans in the New Testament). There are three places where the different gifts that we've been given are set out in the New Testament. This is one of them, and these gifts are most commonly referred to as the "motivational gifts" or as we would more commonly say today, the Personality Types - in other words, those that are written deep into our DNA, the things that drive us:

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.

We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8)

Specifically different gifts - there are seven of them listed here. We'll look at each one of them in a lot more detail throughout this book - chapter by chapter.

But notice here also, this wonderful picture of community - the metaphor of the body of Christ, that we are all members of that body, with different functions. Again, that's something we'll look at in a lot more detail throughout the course of this book.

But at this point - seeing just the small amount that we've seen of God's Word - let me ask you this question: If indeed, as God's Word tells us, God has handcrafted each one of us specifically for a purpose that He planned well ahead of time, and if, as again God's Word tells us, there are specific Personality Types given to each one of us - some as prophets, some as ministers (or servers), some as teachers, some as exhorters (or Encouragers), and so on, if those things in God's Word are true, then …

… doesn't it make sense for us to figure out our particular Personality Type as the basis of knowing what we were always meant to do?

Seems to me that when Jesus was in that carpenter's shop and He wanted to hammer a nail, He would have reached for His hammer. And when He wanted to saw a piece of wood in two, He would have reached for His saw. And when He wanted to create a joint in a piece of wood, He would have reached for His chisel. And having used the right tools for the right functions, He would have brought each work to perfect completion.

It just makes sense, doesn't it?

If He wants someone to teach, my hunch is, He's going to reach for a Teacher. And if He wants to encourage, He's going to reach for an Encourager. And if He wants to pull some things together, He'll probably reach for a Leader.

But what if the Teacher doesn't realise that that's who she is and so instead, she's off doing something she was never meant to do? And what if the Encourager thinks that he's a Leader and so he's off doing something that he was never meant to do? And what if the Leader doesn't realise he's a Leader at all, and so he's off somewhere working so incredibly hard at doing something he was never made to do?

Scary thought really …

Back to the Ugly Duckling

Hans Christian Andersen's powerful story, The Ugly Duckling is a literary classic. Not so much because of the way it was written. My hunch is that the piece loses some of its poetry and lilt at having been translated into English.