Type-A Christianity

I've just discovered something about myself - although, I think I've always know. I am a person that love steps. lists. rules. how-to's. I want to know I am doing something right. A while ago I wrote a piece on Recovering Evangelical about faith and how I don't get it - what does believing in God LOOK like. Because the things I used to do don't work anymore. I want steps to make it all make sense - to know I'm doing it right. And recently I've re-picked up "Abba's Child" by Brennan Manning - and I don't know how to get rid of the "Imposter" in my life. I want him to give me steps to recovery. "Do this and you'll successfully be yourself and live in God's grace" Maybe my problem is I don't really understand what Grace is. Maybe that's hard for us J's (I'm an INTJ) because we like to plan out everything. And you just can't plan grace. When a good friend of mine read a recent post I wrote wrestling with my lack of understanding faith - he sent me all sorts of really nice articles and posts and emails. But none of them were all that helpful, I just didn't feel he was understanding what I was really trying to say (and that's probably because I was not saying it very well!). But he's a P -- not at all a J. The complete opposite of a J. And I think he just has an easier time with the fact that grace makes no sense. He's good with flexibility and spontaneity.

The more and more I think about it - the more I realize I am like a Pharisee. And then I just have compassion on those guys when I read the Bible. Because living in the time of the long expected Messiah must have been hard. I would have been trying to live according to a lot of crossed T's and dotted I's as well. And I would have been the LAST one to jump on the Jesus bandwagon. I would have given myself credit for holding out for so long as well - considered myself discerning.

I don't know hot to "fix" this expectation about myself. Do I try to just change my personality? For someone who is used to a faith that you measure how can you learn to just….be. Or is there a place for lists, rules and steps within Grace?

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