Inner-Conflict, Freedom to Fail and Mercy

(Blogger’s note: This post was inspired by a recent series of messages at Fellowship Bible Church. The series was titled: “Enjoying God.”


“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ~ William Shakespeare

My obsession with self-examination started long before college, but it was in graduate school that I became fascinated with the science of personality profiles and their applications – especially as they relate to my own dual nature.

On the DISC profile designed to measure how colleagues best communicate with one another in the world of business I’m a “high D.” 100% D on the bar graph, in fact.

In short, that means I’m a no-nonsense, get to the point, let’s do this and move-on-to- the-next-thing kind of guy. A high D has the dubious distinction of pursuing success at just about any cost. He’s hard to get to know, regularly abrupt and not the greatest listener.

Then there’s the Myers-Briggs profile, designed more to measure the emotional characteristics and how we react to certain situations.

On the Myers-Briggs, I’m an ENFJ, an extroverted, intuitive, feeling, judger. The short definition of an ENFJ is one who pursues life with his heart, rather than with his head.

So maybe you see the conflict: I’m a short, abrupt, driven person who flies by the seat of his pants and goes where his heart leads him, common sense be damned.

Talk about a split personality…

It reminds me of a great verse in the book of Romans. I think Paul could relate:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate… For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” Romans 7: 15 & 19.

For years, maybe even today to some degree, if you asked me what motivated me in life I would have pointed to a simple fear of failure.

ATYCHIPHOBIA – An extreme, irrational fear, generally keeping one from enjoying many aspects of life. Atychiphobia is one of the most paralyzing phobias, a fear so strong that we subconsciously undermine our own efforts so we don’t have to continue to try.

There have been some mentionable victories in my life. Failures, too.

Three years ago I invested every personal and tangible resource I had in a publishing and business coaching venture. Had a first-class, cutting-edge product, brilliant employees and a vision for huge success. Six months after it launched, I closed it. The failed economy of 2008 contributed a fair amount to the failure, but I also take credit for some poor decisions. When a “high D/ENFJ” falls flat on his face, it’s a devastating thing.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18

The church where I’m a member recently completed a series on “Enjoying God.” It’s helped me better deal with my conflict in nature and the never-ending questioning of my own motives.

A message in short from Psalm 32: We have the freedom to fail; on Judgment Day, god won’t ask us for our spiritual resume; we can tear up our transcript; justice has been served.

It’s a freeing thing to feel free and know that mercy abounds despite our most profound of failures.

During drive time on a business trip yesterday I heard a song that captured my attention.

Yes, mercy finds us all…

You can check out today’s post on my secondary blog at and a summer solstice post on this blog earlier today at

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