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Faith Blog

Biblical Examples of Four People You'll Meet

Jan 14, 2019 12:14:36 PM / by Chris Heinz

We recently ran a blog post from our Life and Work blog on four types of people you'll meet. It was a pretty popular post, so we thought we'd expand it from a biblical perspective.

Life is a process of becoming more aware of yourself and others. As you do, you become more effective at life and work. As you pay attention to those around you, you notice different types of people.

Understanding things like what drives them, how they communicate, how they contribute, what they need, and what can be their downfall, will help you as you relate to them.

In addition, it may be helpful to see examples from the Bible, key verses, and a word to remember.

Everyone is different, and we can’t pigeonhole anyone into one category. But we can use our understanding as a starting place, and let our fascination lead us. The more you understand people, the better at life and work you will be.

Here are four types of people you’ll meet. (You can download the icons at the end.)

Earth

These folks are described as performing, achieving, and executing.

strengthsIcons_earthThey’re driven to get the job done. They go about it in different ways, but “doing the work” is paramount. They communicate around the work—clarifying expectations, refining processes, removing barriers.

They contribute by getting work done. They need time and space to work. Putting too much value on work can be their downfall. They’re earth because they get busy right away, stay productive, and have progress to show for their efforts.

Biblical examples:

  • Noah, who got busy building the ark when God told him to (Genesis 5-10)
  • Martha, who was doing many things for Jesus while missing the person of Jesus (Luke 10)

Key verse:

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Remember that: 

Who you are in Christ is more important than what you do for Christ.

 

Wind

These folks are described as intellectual, pondering, and thinking.

strengthsIcons_windThey’re driven to think on purpose. They go about it in different ways, but “intentional thinking” is paramount. They’re known for their intellectual activity; their thinking is their work. They communicate thoughts, ideas, and solutions, asking “what if?” and “why?”

They contribute by offering their thoughts. They need time and space to think and discuss. Needing everything thought out can be their downfall. They’re wind because they take a higher view, move things along, and their effects can go unseen.

Biblical examples:

  • Abigail, whose name means "intelligent" and whose strategy saved people from bloodshed (1 Samuel 25)
  • Paul, who was a prolific writer, speaker, and apologist (New Testament)

Key verse:

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

Remember that: 

Trusting God means not everything makes logical sense.

Fire

These folks are described as impacting, mobilizing, and influencing.

strengthsIcons_fireThey’re driven to impact others. They go about it in different ways, but “making a mark” is paramount. They communicate in order to persuade, inspire, and influence others around their ideas.

They contribute by bringing clarity to situations, are self-assured, and bring decisive direction. In order to do their work, they need people to trust them. Using people without establishing authentic relationships can be their downfall. They’re fire because they incite change, spread influence, and come with heat.

Biblical examples:

  • Miriam, who spoke words from God and helped to deliver the Jewish women from slavery to freedom (Exodus)
  • John the Baptist, who said bold things to religious leaders despite the circumstances, which led to his death (Matthew 3)

Key verse:

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:5-7)

Remember that: 

Leadership consists of serving people, not being served by people.

Water

These folks are described as people-oriented, connected, and relational.

strengthsIcons_waterThey’re driven to relate to people. They go about it in different ways, but “connecting with others” is paramount. They communicate around relationships, are comfortable with feelings, and favor authenticity.

They contribute by connecting with others. They need to establish authentic connections. Getting enmeshed in relationships can be their downfall. They’re water because they go with the flow, can reflect feelings, and are essential to life—we all need people.

Biblical examples:

  • Ruth, who remained with her mother-in-law Naomi when she didn't have to (Ruth 1)
  • Peter, who denied Christ because he feared people, but was restored to the ministry of "feeding sheep" or pastoring people (New Testament)

Key verse:

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)

Remember that: 

Loving people starts with fearing God and wanting his will for their lives.

 

Conclusion

Like we said, we can’t pigeonhole anyone into one category. But we can use our understanding as a starting place, and let our fascination lead us. The more you understand people, the better at life and work you will be.

  • Which type(s) do you most relate to?
  • How about those whom you live or work with most closely?
  • How can knowing this help you?

Want to download these icons for your use?

Fill out the form and the icons will download into a file for you.

Topics: Self-Awareness

Chris Heinz

Written by Chris Heinz

Chris Heinz inspires personal growth to help people love life and work. He's the Chief People Officer for EnergyCAP, Inc., and a top-rated Learning Partner for Penn State. Chris writes and speaks on employee engagement, self-awareness, strengths, and coaching. Chris holds coaching certifications from Gallup and the International Coach Federation. Chris' writing has been featured as "Best of the Week" by "Human Resources Today." He’s also the author of the “Made To Pray” book and prayer assessment, which helps people find their prayer strengths. Chris lives with his wife and three children in central PA. He blogs from www.ChrisHeinz.com.