Feb 20, 2007

I am Lion, Hear Me Roar

One of my very favorite activities in the world is teaching Bible studies. Although I am taking an extended break while my children are growing up, one Bible study in particular stands out to me. As a board member for PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel), a military group for Christian women of all denominations, I was concerned that we should have a summer Bible study, especially for all the new women who would be arriving during the summer and would want to meet other people. We had about a one-third turnover each summer, so this was a significant amount of ladies looking for new friends. All the other women had other obligations that summer, so I taught the class.

Lynn has a short blurb on her blog about secular personality tests and I am NOT a fan of pop psychology, but there is one personality test in particular that I actually enjoy. It is not new, but what attracts me to it is the fact that it encourages me to become more like Jesus and it teaches me how to be a friend. I will explain all that later.

This is Gary Smalley's and John Trent's animal personality test that this particular Bible study was based upon. There are four animals: the lion, beaver, otter, and golden retriever. Being labeled one animal or another does not mean that you have to have all the traits of that animal. You will be the animal that you score the highest for, so keep track of the number of traits you feel describe you for each animal. Each person usually fits into one or possibly two categories and I will cover them one at a time. At the end, I will explain how this test, and Bible study, transformed my life.

In the meantime, I will start with the test and characteristics for the lion. Notice the biblical character traits that are listed for each animal. This is significant. Here are the traits for a lion:
  • Takes charge
  • Determined
  • Assertive
  • Firm
  • Enterprising
  • Competitive
  • Enjoys challenges
  • Bold
  • Purposeful
  • Decision maker
  • Leader
  • Goal driven
  • Self-reliant
  • Adventurous

A lion's motto is "Let's do it now!"

Taken from their book, "The Two Sides of Love," here are some typical traits of a lion.

Lions are born leaders. Although it is true that some leaders are made, not born, it is more often true that they are born that way. God did create some natural leaders and they are called lions.

Lions like to accomplish things with immediate results. They like to take charge and feel very strongly that life is a series of problems they need to solve or challenges they need to meet.

A lion's time frame is now! Lions are not upset, they are just extremely intense. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right now. This one characteristic often causes others to feel afraid of lions, while lions often don't see it themselves.

Lions are decisive. Lions need to lead, take control, and accomplish things; these all involve making decisions quickly. Lions often don't ask for advice when making these decisions and sometimes fail to get the necessary facts.

Lions want the Reader's Digest version of communication. They eschew small talk and are anxious to get right into the meat of the conversation. They want to stick to the subject and are focused on the efficiency aspect of communication so they can get back to work.

Lions often feel challenged by questions. Rather than seeing a question as a reasonable request for information, lions sometimes see them as a personal challenge instead.

Lions are not afraid of pressure or confrontation. Lions thrive on tension. Unless they're careful, this tendency can cause lions to hurt other people's feeling without even realizing it. Lions can be so strong that they win every verbal battle but end up losing the war for their family's hearts.

These are the natural bents of a lion, but not every lion has all these character traits. As you will see throughout the traits of all four animals, each character trait can be used for good or for bad. It is important to recognize which traits apply to you.

As for me, if you haven't figured it out already, I am a full-blown lion, but that was easily explainable when I recently found out that I am directly descended from Attila the Hun!

Come back tomorrow to find about the beaver.


Lion Twice Over said...

Yeah, so both father and you are lions, imagine what that did to me! Good grief, the world better not mess with, that's all I got to say. Because I take my Hunness very seriously! :)

Mark said...

Not only are YOU a lion, the entire house is full of them! Ah, but what can you expect when the parents are a lion and lioness? Ours is a marriage where opposites did not attract! ;~}

simplegifts3 said...

I am Golden Retriever, hear me bark!

I may come across like a lion on my blog, but am a woos in real life.

refcal said...

Direct descendant of Atila the Hun--that doesn't explain anything; so is virtually everybody else on the planet.

The man was not known for monogamy.

Jen said...

Thanks for bursting my bubble, Ref Cal! Surely I must have some excuse for my lioness ways!

simplegifts3 said...

I normally don't do movies, but in the last couple months I've been to three of them. I saw "Night at the Museum" with a friend of mine, and have to admit the way they portrayed the night watchman dealing with Atila was pretty funny.

PS - I like the animal descriptions better than the melancholy sanguine choleric phlegmatic deal that Tim La Haye popularized.

Prairie Momma said...

I have to throw in a big cheer for the monkeys out there. I am one and enjoying life so much this way. It makes for interesting home school days, too. :)