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Thread: Sin and MBTI

  1. #11
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Ugh. Been there. They come up with all this crazy crap to make people feel bad and it can really get to an NF if you let it.

    The way I've come to look at it is that NFs are not their target audience. Humans all have their struggles, but the way we struggle can be different.

    NFs tend to take their beliefs very, very seriously and self-examine and self-flagellate in a way that other types don't quite seem to engage in. This makes us exceptionally susceptible to guilt and shame and, at least in my experience, guilt and shame are not good motivators for me. They must be for some types or something. I dunno.

    Guilt and shame tend to send me into a really bad feedback loop and I either end up doing the thing I don't want to do more or I become completely immobilized.

    Ultimately, for me, it comes down to this:
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

    The laws and the rules are, like, instructions on how to love God and your neighbor, but ultimately, our goal is to love. Nobody is perfect at this and, IMO, this is where sin comes in.

    If something we do drives us away from God or it causes harm or pain to another person, it 'misses the mark' and is sin.

    Not every person drives themselves away from God in the same way because we don't all have the same weaknesses. Different actions mean different things to different people, so behaving one way toward one person may cause them harm, but it might bring good to another.

    People sometimes want to make faith into a simple list of rules or they want to make their personal pet peeve into a sin. IMO, God requires that we engage our hearts and our brains and decide, from our understanding of the scriptures and of our neighbors, how best to love.

    When we fall short of love, we repent, try to make it right as best we can, accept God's forgiveness by forgiving ourselves and try to do better next time.

    I can understand a church teaching about the Big Bad sins as laid out in the Ten Commandments and the Gospels, maybe even the Epistles, but when they start basically making stuff up to make people feel guilty about? That seems pretty destructive to me. That is not an atmosphere of edification and encouragement, but one of judgment and control. If it's a consistent pattern, it might be best to look for a healthier fellowship.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #12
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayoitsStepho View Post
    Wow. I'm a Christian and I attend church...but I've never heard people come right out and tell each other that they're sinning just because someone's being over emotional or they're day dreaming and such. I think that if someone is going to point those things out, they need to look at themselves and see what sins of the bible they're doing.

    In the bible it does talk about some of those things being sin. I'm not sure of all of them, but from what I've studied of my bible, thats what I've read so far. BUT, we're all people and we all sin. You cannot point your finger at someone and tell them they're sinning and totally let them know they're horrible or whatever for it if you yourself sin. [by you i mean other people who point fingers].

    (I'm gonna get into a bit of faith talk for a moment)

    With that, it also plays into my faith that Jesus Christ died for our sins. We're all sinners. I'm a huge sinner. My goodness, if you knew the stuff I did you'd either shriek of shock or you'd nod your head in agreement. By all means, I'm no better than anybody else. The only thing that sets me apart [in my faith] is that I believe Jesus Christ is my savior and Lord. I believe He wipes away all sins if you just ask and believe.
    I don't think we should be freaking out and going "oh my gosh, thats a sin, oh no!", because its our nature to do so. We'll continue sinning until we die. I think the big picture is that someone can take away your sins and you'll be made new.

    So for Christians who want to pick out every sin in the bible and condemn those who sin...they've missed the point of who Jesus is and his teachings. All in all, we're to love Him, love others, love ourselves.
    So don't you listen to those who are condemning. They haven't figured out what its all about. You are YOU. You were created an INFP, because we need you as an INFP.


    I do hope that I was able to shed some light for you. I've dealt with the same issue.
    Thanks.
    I'm afraid I'm going to hit you with a few more things.
    But what about the fact that I'm prone to melancholy? And I'm very easily discouraged. Normally I think of these things as phases (and that they make me prone to faithlessness or resentment or other sins but aren't in themselves sins) but now I'm starting to wonder if they're sin. And, one of the women said that our culture was so focused on self knowledge and self help that it was evident of our sin of self-centeredness. Except...as an INFP I excel at navel gazing and I really do want to improve myself and I turn inward a lot and I'm not great with people and what I heard was "the defining quality of your personality is selfish and sinful." Ok, and I get that I'm selfish and sinful. But, I'm supposed to be a new person now! Remember, Jesus, believing and confessing, new heart, sins forgiven. If who I am is sinful than how can I put it off? Not just an old nature, but my whole nature?

    I'm really battling through what I thought I read in the Bible and what I hear in sermons and how these ladies are taking the scripture.

    Ok, so the other week I was feeling really discouraged and I asked them to pray for me and this one girl (a leader in the group though not *the* leader) said that instead I should pray for forgiveness. Like, since when did believing the lies of satan (eg. you're not enough, you're too much, you're not special, you suck) become a sin? I thought the original sin was eating the fruit, not listening to the lies? But since then I've become paranoid that every negative feeling I feel is a sin, and ever negative thought that enters my head that's discouraging is a sin. Does that make sense?

    And, I'm confused about whether we can ever truly repent. Like, the good Christians always say that repenting is changing completely, 180 turn, running in the opposite direction. If we ever do that sin again than we didn't really repent did we? Because if you've gone in the whole opposite direction you won't do it again? And how ungodly are those (like me) who struggle with the same sins for years and years. Who hate them and pray for forgiveness with the knowledge you'll probably do it again and only the hope that God will intervene where your will fails. Is that a farce then? A parody of repentance that insults God? I'm kind of freaking out about that too.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I know it's not quite the answer you were asking for, but I'm inclined to believe that churches are constructions of man and thus imperfect. I think they generally get the big picture right, and the details wrong. There are things that my church says are sins that I don't believe are wrong. And when my soul is in the balance, I have to side with what I believe, not what I'm told.

    I wouldn't necessarily take it on faith (heh) that these people are interpreting correctly. I further believe that no God worth believing in would damn you for things that you cannot use your free will to reject. These are things that should bring you comfort even if you don't wish to take your church's teachings with a grain of salt.
    It's not my church's teachings, it's a few women in some of the small groups, particularly women who come from a local seminary. They're leaders but they don't preach, they're not deaconesses. I think they very much take the tone of "you're sinning and you feel guilty? Well, stop it!"

    I feel here a need to defend my church. It's the best (theology and practice) and least judgmental I've ever been to. I know the women are trying to help. Perhaps they take their sin much lighter than I take mine, or are much much more holy than I am, and so feel the need to point out the nuances of sin.

    I think my pastor may be an xNFx because he's always really good about addressing my fears of being too bad to be fixed and my tenancy to despair. Sometimes it's like he reads minds and addresses stuff. But, as part of the Acts 29 movement all kinds of people are drawn in.
    So, these women may be wrong, but my church is good.
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
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  3. #13
    Sniffles
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    What Church are we talking about?

  4. #14
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    Those "authorities" are wrong. Excessive self-focus (at the expense of others or God) and some inaction are sinful. The rest on that list are not sinful. I've studied a large amount and those evaluations aren't really true. What is true is that anyone can twist words in the Bible to fit their ideologies, and ignore relevant information in doing so.

    But you already disagree with them. It is obvious this doesn't sit well with you.

    Christ, if melancholy, introspection, and leisure are sins in and of themselves then I'm going straight to hell. And I'll see a lot of people there with me.
    This made me smile, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Ugh. Been there. They come up with all this crazy crap to make people feel bad and it can really get to an NF if you let it.

    The way I've come to look at it is that NFs are not their target audience. Humans all have their struggles, but the way we struggle can be different.

    NFs tend to take their beliefs very, very seriously and self-examine and self-flagellate in a way that other types don't quite seem to engage in. This makes us exceptionally susceptible to guilt and shame and, at least in my experience, guilt and shame are not good motivators for me. They must be for some types or something. I dunno.

    Guilt and shame tend to send me into a really bad feedback loop and I either end up doing the thing I don't want to do more or I become completely immobilized.


    Ultimately, for me, it comes down to this:
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

    The laws and the rules are, like, instructions on how to love God and your neighbor, but ultimately, our goal is to love. Nobody is perfect at this and, IMO, this is where sin comes in.

    If something we do drives us away from God or it causes harm or pain to another person, it 'misses the mark' and is sin.

    Not every person drives themselves away from God in the same way because we don't all have the same weaknesses. Different actions mean different things to different people, so behaving one way toward one person may cause them harm, but it might bring good to another.

    People sometimes want to make faith into a simple list of rules or they want to make their personal pet peeve into a sin. IMO, God requires that we engage our hearts and our brains and decide, from our understanding of the scriptures and of our neighbors, how best to love.

    When we fall short of love, we repent, try to make it right as best we can, accept God's forgiveness by forgiving ourselves and try to do better next time.

    I can understand a church teaching about the Big Bad sins as laid out in the Ten Commandments and the Gospels, maybe even the Epistles, but when they start basically making stuff up to make people feel guilty about? That seems pretty destructive to me. That is not an atmosphere of edification and encouragement, but one of judgment and control. If it's a consistent pattern, it might be best to look for a healthier fellowship.
    Yeah, x10 on the bolded stuff.
    Thank you, that answer makes sense and is comforting (without dismissive of real sin that may be there).

    I only changed to this group from another about a month ago. The old group was...dysfunctional would be a good word. Let me give them a real chance. I know they were *trying* to be encouraging. It just didn't work. It could be that we're not communicating. As a naturally self-flagellating NF I could be misinterpreting their words. Few people seem as specific with their words as I am. I think it leads to excessive examining of what they meant, if their meaning wasn't clear to me.
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
    ___________________

  5. #15
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    "Christianity is not melancholy. It is glad tidings for the melancholy."
    -Sren Kierkegaard

  6. #16
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    I've been listening to a lot of people (by a lot I mean...three, maybe four, lol) at my church talk about sin. I've heard what they're saying echoed before at nearly every church I've ever attended (I went to this one that was really more of just a social place, neither faith nor religious study nor social activism were really priorities for them, they didn't talk about sin). What I'm hearing is that self-focus is a sin, inaction is a sin (but so is being busy for business sake), self-hate is a sin, melancholy is a sin, being despairing is a sin. Day dreaming is a sin. Taking time for yourself is a sin. Trying to take care of yourself is a sin. Not using your talents is a sin.
    x is sin. y is a sin. z is a sin.

    But what is sin?! What are the qualities that all sins and only sins always have?

    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    Ok, so the other week I was feeling really discouraged and I asked them to pray for me and this one girl (a leader in the group though not *the* leader) said that instead I should pray for forgiveness. Like, since when did believing the lies of satan (eg. you're not enough, you're too much, you're not special, you suck) become a sin? I thought the original sin was eating the fruit, not listening to the lies? But since then I've become paranoid that every negative feeling I feel is a sin, and ever negative thought that enters my head that's discouraging is a sin. Does that make sense?
    How does eating a piece of fruit have anything to do with sin?

    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    And, I'm confused about whether we can ever truly repent. Like, the good Christians always say that repenting is changing completely, 180 turn, running in the opposite direction. If we ever do that sin again than we didn't really repent did we? Because if you've gone in the whole opposite direction you won't do it again? And how ungodly are those (like me) who struggle with the same sins for years and years. Who hate them and pray for forgiveness with the knowledge you'll probably do it again and only the hope that God will intervene where your will fails. Is that a farce then? A parody of repentance that insults God? I'm kind of freaking out about that too.
    You need to read Romans.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    But that's the great thing about being skilled at introspection - you can identify the aspects of yourself that you DO want to change. If you hear what they're saying, and it resonates with you to this degree, maybe that's because you see a grain of truth in it. But instead of beating yourself up over the fact that change isn't as easy as you'd like it to be, you can focus on one small thing you can do that could start the process. If you feel too focused on yourself, think of one opportunity you'll have this week to focus on serving someone else. You don't have to do the 180 that you're talking about, and maybe believing that a 180 is even possible just exacerbates your self-criticism.

    I don't think it's just an INFP thing - our culture teaches self-absorption. We're supposed to be conscious at all times of how we feel, why we feel that way, etc... I think on some level, we all want to get past that constant re-evaluation and start actually contributing to society. But that's not so easy to do, and we end up feeling guilty about that. Maybe a little guilt is a good thing. Maybe we shouldn't indulge ourselves in endless introspection to the exclusion of looking outside ourselves for opportunities to serve others. But too much of that guilt just continues the cycle and makes us turn inward even more.

    It really sounds to me like this is an opportunity for you to lean on your faith, and gain strength from it. You don't have to feel paralyzed by your personality type. You get to use that introspection to decide what kind of person you want to be - then figure out one thing you can do that will get you to that point.

  8. #18
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Well, and church ladies . . . they are in every church, probably something like them in any organization anywhere you go. They suck for real. I guess they are just unhappy and want to spread it around. I'd say try to avoid/ignore them as much as possible and if you get enough of it, challenge them in some way. Sometimes people are bullies and the only thing they respect is pushing back at them.

    A lot of people just parrot stuff they've heard on TBN or read in the latest Joel Olsteen book or whatever without thinking much about it: ignore.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #19
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    Am I the only Christian here who hates Joel Olsteen? Yeah and church ladies, hate them too with a passion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Am I the only Christian here who hates Joel Olsteen? Yeah and church ladies, hate them too with a passion.
    no

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