Transforming Temperaments

Though they go by various names in different systems – it is generally understood that there are four basic human temperaments. Since I am used to the Hippocratic system popularized by Tim Lahaye, I will be using those terms.

Sanguine – the outgoing, super-friendly, life-of-the-party storyteller, with issues of lust, disorganization and commitment.

Choleric – the less outgoing, natural leader, gets work done and commands respect, but in the process stomps over people and hurts them, a particular know-it-all who is bossy.

Melancholic – the thinker, perfectionist, artistic genius who has the potential for significant mental agony and

Phelgmatic – the patient, loyal listener who can meticulously plod along under the worst circumstances, but can be so slow in deciding that life passes by with minimal involvement while he gives silly excuses and has lazy tendencies.

By all accounts of observation and historical data all humans are at least 2 combinations in varying percentages – causing a large variety in human nature and characteristics – and Jesus Christ had a temperament that was a culmination of the best of all temperaments without the negatives of any.

Even though our temperaments are inherited from our parents, life and human attempt or neglect could cause changes in those temperaments for the better or worse.

But the most powerful changes to human temperaments come when they are under God’s control. Specifically, when a person become a Christian, the Holy Spirit starts to take control of his life. A person’s temperament goes from being self-controlled to Spirit-controlled.

When a person becomes a believer God the Holy Spirit starts a work in him by which he changes a person’s temperament to be like that of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…

As soon as a person becomes a believer then, his temperament should continue to evolve and get rid of its negative features and add more and more of the positive features of the other temperaments – as a person becomes more and more like Jesus.

By inference, the longer a person is a Christian, the lesser he should exhibit features of his natural temperamental negatives and increasingly should show the positive characteristics of all temperaments. But if not, it only means that he is resisting the natural work of God in changing him. But the more we submit to the natural work of God in changing us, the more we should see a change in our natures as the years roll by.

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