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Was Doubting Thomas Really Doubting?

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas' by Caravaggio.

Imagine going through a really amazing and fulfilling 3 years.  And finally finding a leader you can admire as your role model. You love being with Him every day.

Then, one day, it all changes. He is arrested, beaten, killed and you are devastated. You need time alone to process what has happened. You simply don’t know what to believe. And now, 3 days later, some of your friends say they actually saw your leader alive and well. IMPOSSIBLE, you think.

That is exactly what happened to the Apostle Thomas.

He, like the other Apostles adored their leader, Jesus. He was smart and kind and Thomas never had to worry about anything because Jesus would take care of it. Always! Even the couple times when Jesus was preaching all day and tons of hungry people were there listening to Him. Jesus cared about everyone. They were far away from any place where they could get food. So, what did Jesus do? He prayed and thanked God for what God was about to do and then…the IMPOSSIBLE happened. There was enough food for EVERYONE to eat, with a bunch left over besides.

But, to Thomas, this time is different.

It really does seem IMPOSSIBLE. Thomas knew without a doubt that Jesus had died a brutal death on a cross and was put in a tomb. A huge stone was rolled across the opening and there is no way a lone person could move that stone from across the entry, let alone walk out of there alive.

Yet, the apostles and the women said they saw Him. Alive. He came to them in the room where they were hiding.

“Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’”

John 20:24

When people refer to Thomas, they usually speak negatively.

He is called “Doubting Thomas”. Did he doubt, or was Thomas a Beaver personality? (LFYS)

Here’s some characteristics about Beaver personalities. Let’s see if Thomas fits the profile…

  • Tells things like they are
  • Careful attention to the facts
  • Notices details
  • Tendency towards perfectionism
  • Asks a lot of questions
  • Likes things done the same way

Beavers are Task people more than People people.

Notice the other disciples were all together, but Thomas had gone off by himself to sort things out. To THINK.

People with a Beaver personality’s  greatest fear is making mistakes.

They are normally slow at decision making. They ask a lot of questions, which makes them APPEAR to be disagreeable or argumentative. They want to know WHY. They NEED to “verify”, because they truly want to be a team player. They actually desire to agree and work together. But they need more facts than others might need. They are critical thinkers, calm, logical, and vigilant. They have high standards. They don’t like to settle for less.

They are good at asking the right questions to get to the heart of an issue. But for some, that could feel like they don’t trust the others. It is vitally important that we each one learn our God-given strengths AND recognize and respect the strengths of others. That is how teams function best.

Jesus SHOWED them to respect Thomas’ questions

The rest of this Bible passage illustrates how thoroughly Jesus understands each of His “children”. (You and me, too.) He understood Thomas was not merely difficult. He understood exactly what Thomas needed in order to enjoy fellowship again. And He demonstrated how to honor one another’s differences. (It’s been said a definition for fellowship is “two fellows in the same ship, going the same direction.” And that is exactly what is going on here. Thomas wants to be convinced.)

“A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus suddenly stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’”

John 20:26-28

Do you see the beauty of fellowship with the Lord? In true fellowship, we are honest with what we need and He hears every word. He KNEW what Thomas needed to see and feel in order to believe; and Jesus encouraged Him to receive what He needed from Him.

Picky people can be annoying

What do we often do when someone is so “picky” and “pessimistic” and “worrisome” like Thomas was? We might say something like “WHAT is your problem? Why can’t you just believe what we tell you? Stop being so negative.” But,those kinds of attitudes merely makes a Beaver MORE Beaver-like. They feel rejected and feel like they must justify their feelings. It just turns into a mess.

But…What did Jesus do? He met Thomas at his point of need. He KNEW his heart wanted desperately to believe, but He simply needed more facts. He needed to VERIFY. When he was treated with dignity and kindness and acceptance, what was his response?

“Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!’”

John 20:28

Jesus added one more thing.

Of course Jesus knows not everyone is needing the depth of verification that Thomas needed, so Jesus reassured the others…

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

John 20:29

So, the lesson here is, to HONOR ONE ANOTHER. We must understand our own strengths and also value others’ strengths. When we take the time to study the characteristics of each of the strengths and learn each person’s differences in communication, true fellowship happens.

Let’s do it!

ENJOY ONE ANOTHER and ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER!

That day when we shall see Jesus face-to-face draws nearer every day…

My specialty is Mentor Coaching around Personality Strengths. Contact me if you would like to know more…

Jimmy Learns about Life

Join Jimmy and his mama in this lighthearted book of character traits for kids. Jimmy is your average 7-year-old. He is going through life, having fun, and learning a lot along the way. Through mishaps, ministry, and more, Jimmy learns that there’s more to life than first impressions. Each chapter of this book contains a character trait Jimmy learns during teachable moments of life.

Jimmy Learns about Life by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Which Personality Assessment Tool Is Best?

Online personality “Superman” tests

Every few months, there are new online evaluation tests, and a continuous flow of new personality assessments that everyone is crazy about. UNTIL the next shiny object comes along. But, as far as I can see, these are focused on YOU. Every one claims to be the Superman of assessments. But I am sticking with one that has been life-changing for me and for my clients.

My favorite for ten years

So, why has Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) been my favorite for 10 years or more? There are many reasons, but my two biggest and best reasons are that it is Biblically based, and it is centered on appreciating our differences, rather than being in competition with each other. It is purposefully other-centered, created for Kingdom-building, focusing on how we fit TOGETHER like puzzle pieces.

Ministry Insight (creator of LFYS) website states:

These key scriptures “explain God’s plan for our uniqueness. We hope you can read them, study them, and discover for yourself God’s design for differences… I Corinthians 12, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:11-13, I Peter 4:10, Ephesians 2:10.”

Personal testimony: I can be frustrating

Rather than telling someone else’s story about how Leading From Your Strengths helped them to a better, more fulfilling life, I thought I could go deeper with my own story. In order for you to understand the bigger picture I want you to know what is possible, so I’m going to make myself vulnerable. So, here we go…

I need details. I have questions before I commit to anything. I seldom make snap decisions. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get frustrated with myself because I am not like someone else. Some days, I want to be more dynamic, or more laid back, or more pioneering, for instance.

Volunteering at a Silent Auction

Like the time my friend asked me to volunteer to help her with a Silent Auction. First of all, I had never been to a silent auction. (Don’t laugh. It’s true!) So, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. As the day grew closer, I began to panic. I needed more information to get to a comfort level that would actually make me helpful rather than an irritation.

Teamwork

My friend knew I would love it once I got there, but since she was well-schooled in LFYS, she knew what was causing me to panic. I needed details. So, she patiently explained the whole process and exactly what would be expected of me. She also knew on the ride there, I would have some fresh concerns that needed clarifying. She was patient, calm, and kind. Not having to DEFEND my panic, gave me a comfort level and made the whole process pretty seamless. Because she had eliminated the “new experience anxiety”, I felt equipped to be able to get my eyes off myself and onto the job at hand.

I ended up having a blast!

All because my friend accepted me for who I am and provided what I needed in that circumstance. But then, she understood the strengths differences.

Was I just being picky?

  1. Are you wondering why knowing more facts about what was expected actually changed my whole attitude about serving at the event?
  2. Are you thinking: Why couldn’t I just act like my friend and just go with the flow? I’ve tried that before and that is NOT a pretty picture, believe me! It never works well when we try to be something we are not.

Here’s why and why not…

The answer is because God actually created us to be different. On purpose. By God’s design wisdom.

There had been potential for a conflict.

But the knowledge we had because of LFYS made it possible for each of us to understand the other and to work as a team. My friend and I both were needed at that event. After I felt a greater comfort level and understood how it all worked, my spiritual gift of encouragement kicked in, and I was outgoing, fearlessly asking people to make a bid at our table at the auction. I was able to be other-centered and my friend was able to relax and be herself. Because I had been prepared with knowing what was expected of me, I was able to be left alone in the booth (my personality type is dependable, and not easily distracted from the task at hand). And she was able to meander around the event, meeting needs and greeting people, rather than constantly having to calm down an ill-prepared BEAVER personality. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that as well as my friend did?

Do you see the POSSIBILITIES?

What if ALL of us understood that we are to help others be all they can be in Christ, by allowing them to be who they are. (We aren’t talking about self-centered sinful behavior here.) We are talking about God-given personality types. God created each person with the exact strength He wanted them to have, in order to accomplish His purposes until He comes again.

Are you ready to get started?

I have an amazing offer for you. For only $49, you can take the assessment AND schedule a one-on-one phone consultation with a certified LFYS Coach. ME! Valuable information is gleaned from a quick multiple choice assessment you take online. We then schedule a phone consultation, to evaluate how to incorporate the information into your life.

Here’s how to make that happen

Leave a comment in the comment box below, with your email address, so we can compare calendars to set up a *Free* call to answer any questions. We can then arrange for your LFYS personality assessment and consultation. Don’t delay! I’m not sure how long I can make this very special offer available.

Until next time,

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com