Since my junior year of college, God has really used the study of personalities in my life. Understanding why I do what I do, and also why others do what they do, has helped me grow personally in my walk, as well as become a better discipler and friend.
Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about common "lies" that I believe. I even said something like, "That is one thing about my personality I don't like. It is hard for me to really understand and accept God's love and that He would want to give me good things without any strings attached."
You see, I think I need to DO something to deserve those good things. I am action-motivated. SO when I DON'T produce or "DO" something for God, why would He give me good things? That is just how I think.
For years I have thought about the connection of our personalities with our spiritual gifts and especially our view of God. Recently, I found a book that makes those same connections.
I want to go over briefly how each of the four personality types respond to a different aspect of God. Or how we reflect one aspect of God most naturally. (This if from the book, not me necessarily.)
Sanguines: Sanguines naturally feel that everyone likes them and are accustomed to skating through life on their charm. They have no trouble believing that God loves them too. To the Sanguine, grace is a natural extension of that love. Elements of grace are naturally attractive to the Sanguine--"You mean I don't have to do anything to get God to love me? Sign me up!" They know salvation cannot be earned and take God and grace at face value. Spiritual "failure" doesn't keep Sanguines form trying again. For each day is a new, fresh day--full of grace and love from the Father.
Melancholy: The spiritual strength that attracts the Melancholy is knowledge. Melancholy like details, facts, charts, and lists--and enjoying seeing how everything connects and is related. This inherent personality trait carries through to the Christian life as well. While Sanguines who can coast through life feeling loved by God--Melancholy need to know WHY. Melancholy people are drawn to knowledge knowing the WHY or HOWS behind the faith.
Choleric: Choleric people have a "just do it" mentality, so it is no surprise they embody the spiritual strength of justification or works. Cholerics determine value--their's and other's--on the basis on production. Likewise, they show their love for God through their works. The Choleric is justified as s/he acts out their faith--often taking up causes or getting things done. They have deep convictions about right and wrong--often jump into action to right a wrong or stand for a moral principle. Their faith is made real as they work and produce.
Phlegmatic: While the Choleric wants to be in charge and make decisions, the Phlegmatic is the opposite, preferring to stay in the background, accepting the sovereignty of God. Phlegmatics know that God is in control, so why should they stress or make a decision? They function in the "what will be, will be" camp. They can quietly take what life throws at them with a solid resolve that God know best and is in control.
Grace, knowledge, justification/works, and acceptance of Divine sovereignty are all evidences of our Christian life. All are valid and good. I think it is interesting that we may manifest one of these spiritual strengths more obviously than others.
Maybe it is Mel-Choleric of me to find this interesting and want to blog about it (the knowledge and action merge). But I see how these strengths of my personality has also caused me problems too. Because I value doing, or producing, I come down hard on myself when I am not. I can only see the justification or works, not the grace or sovereignty.
Isn't it so like God though? Yet another area that He shows us we are in NEED of someone outside of ourselves. He wants us to need Him and others to make it in the Christian life!!! I need those Sanguines to tell me how much God loves me and the grace He gives. I need my Phelg friends to remind me God is in control of all. And I hope others need me to sharing knowledge and encourage them into action.
If you made it through this post, thanks. What do you guys think about this? I'd really like to know.