Loving Optimistic People-Oriented People


I took a break from a series that I started a few weeks back to share last week that I am being sent out from my church, Magnolia Bible Church, to be a missionary to the State Capitol Community through a ministry called Capitol Commission.

Thank you to all who have sent emails and comments already.  Some of you have asked questions about the new ministry and I have tried to answer each one of them.  And some of you have offered some wonderful words of encouragement which mean so much to me.  Thank you. And some have even asked if they can support this ministry through prayer and finances.  That means a lot to me as well.

If this is something you are interested in, or if you have questions about the ministry, please just send me an email to the email address below and I will get back to you.

The series that I have been writing is about personality types.  The idea is that as we learn more about how we are created and how others are created and how God loves each in a perfect way, we can model this love and love others more appropriately, effectively and as God does.

Last week I described people who are Optimistic/People-Oriented (O/PO) types.  For those of you who fall into this category, I offered a few thoughts regarding utilizing your strengths and how to work on some weaker areas.

For a brief review, Optimistic/People-Oriented people tend typically to prefer an environment of fun and a lot of social interaction.  They also desire acceptance and social approval.

This week I would like to offer thoughts on how we can best love this type of personality.  To help, we can observe how Jesus interacted with this type of person.

The Apostle Peter seems to be an O/PO kind of person. Peter was by far the most verbal of the Apostles.  He always seemed to be the spokesperson. His mouth and impetuousness also got him into trouble more than once.

He was the one who jumped into the lake and started walking on the water towards Jesus, while everyone else stayed in the boat like rational folks.  He also whipped out his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane in the face of a Roman cohort and Jewish leaders with swords, clubs and torches.

Peter is also the one who denied Jesus three times after impetuously disagreeing with Jesus when Jesus said he would deny Him.

Peter must have felt like he not only let Jesus down, but that the other disciples would not be too proud of him either.  Peter seems to have been somewhat marginalized by the others.

But Jesus “reinstates” him into a place of leadership.  He does this lovingly, especially for a O/OP person.

First Jesus sets up a fish-fry on the beach.  This sets up a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.  Then Jesus asks Peter, in front of all the others, “Do you love me?”  He does this three times, corresponding to the three times that Peter denied Jesus, and to allow Peter to publicly proclaim his love for Jesus.

My personality type (Even-tempered/Status Quo Oriented) would have preferred a more personal approach that would feel more sincere.  But if Jesus had approached Peter this way, I believe Peter would have said, “That’s all well and good, Jesus.  But could you come over here with all the others and say in front of them what you just said to me?”

But Jesus knew the environment that Peter needed and He knew the need for public recognition that Peter had.  Jesus also publicly affirmed Peter’s role in helping to establish Christ’s Church on earth.  The result was that Peter was bold and used his verbal skills to lead 3000 people to be followers of Jesus to kick things off in Acts 2 at Pentecost.

So what are ways that we can love the O/OP person?

Be friendly and positive and allow time for fun activities.  Use friendly tones and body language such as appropriate touch.  Allow them time to verbalize their thoughts and feelings.  They need to process out loud much of the time.  Then you can help them move from talk to an action plan.  Offer encouragement and incentives when giving them tasks.

And finally, rather than be irritated by the weaknesses of a O/OP person, enjoy, admire (and offer encouragement) to the O/PO person when he/she uses his/her skill of the verbal for glory of God.

Next week we will examine the Even-tempered/Status Quo-Oriented personality type.
Scot Wall is pastor of Magnolia Bible Church and the new Texas State Capitol Minister with Capitol Commission. Send comments to ConsiderThis@magnoliabible.org.

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