Those of you who have lived with, or through, a fifteen-year-old girl know that adolescents of this age generally fight self-esteem issues. Call it hormones, peer pressure, society, or fat days, 15-year-old girls need a lot of love and reassurance that they are beautiful, beloved people.
When one of our progeny was 15, in the midst of this exact stage, she was called a dog by a speaker brought in by our church. The speaker, who earned a generous living by organizing church mission trips through an International Church Mission Trip Organization Agency, gave a group of young people the Gary Smalley Personality Assessment Tool Test. (The young people were part of a church-induced “mission trip” to a Christian camp that was looking for free counselors for the season.)
Based upon this one-page sheet, in which participants score themselves from 0-3 points on whether or not they are a “problem solver,” “optimistic,” “adaptable,” “analytical,” and 72 other attributes, human beings — in this case, insecure, emotionally fragile adolescents — are labeled Lions, Beavers, Otters, or Golden Retrievers.
Guess what my child was? How about yours? Or you? I mean, after all that orthodontia, do you want your son identified as a Beaver? Please follow the link to the full article at my BeliefNet Column, Commonsense Christianity: How Long Will We Let Other Christians Call Us Dogs? As regular readers know, I am only able to post a teaser to the full story — and if you have sat through any form of “Christian” personality test through your church, please follow through. This kind of abuse only continues because we allow it to.
This article is linked to Serving Joyfully, Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, Shine Blog Hop, Growing in Grace, Over 50 Feeling 40, All Things with Purpose, Mom on Demand, Christian Mom Blogger, Missional Woman, Simple Moments Stick, Essential Things, Christian Fellowship, Family Fun, Bacon Time, Weekend Wind Down, Freedom Friday, Dash of Diva, Flash Blog, A Look at the Book, The Modest Mom, A Mama’s Story, What Joy Is Mine, Life of Faith, Moms the Word, 100 pound countdown, Mopping the Floor, Thoughtful Spot, A Life in Balance, Frugal Crafty Home, The Chicken Chick, Emily Bedwell, Counting My Blessings
Now that was interesting…and inappropriate.
Inappropriate, but sadly, “normal” within many Christian circles. The authors mentioned in the article have been read, and used, by many leaders of churches, and continue to be, but people rarely ask, “Where did you get this stuff? And how is it Biblical?”
It’s enough, for too many Christians, that a sanctioned name and personality says that something is so.
What an odd test!
Thank you for sharing on the #SHINBEbloghop
It is — but not an unusual one. In certain establishment Christian circles, it is used as the norm.
Actually, thanks to a number of “Christian psychologist” writers and leaders, “Christian psychology” is used within our churches alongside the Bible, and many people can’t distinguish between the two.
I don’t even know what to say! Hugs to your daughter.
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
Thank you, Jill. I was privileged to hug my daughter, close, just yesterday, and it is a gift to have someone I love so much, live close enough to hug and see on a regular basis.
What is there to say? Speaking out, when you see something like this happen near you — especially when it is done under the aegis of Christianity — is the best thing to do. People like this cast their malevolent influence — whether it’s intentional or not — only because we let them. Worse, we fund them, by buying their products and their message.