Temperament Difficulties In Finding God's Will

Life is the net result of the choices you’ve made. Are you following God or your natural temperament tendencies? If your major life choices have been made on the basis of the natural temperament, your life is probably fouled up. Or like many Christians, you may have followed a little of both –which means you are confronted with doing God’s acceptable or good will.

The following analysis will show you the dangers of each temperament. Try to find your predominant temperament in this description.

Cholerics at Decision Time

As soon as Cholerics become Christians, they face a difficult problem: learning to walk in obedience to God’s road map, the Bible. Frankly, strong-willed Cholerics prefer self-reliance to submissive obedience. In the paraphrased words of the prophet, they need to learn to live not by Choleric might and not by Choleric power –but by God’s Spirit.

Although Cholerics are practical and decisive by nature, they need to seek the Lord’s leading instead of depending too much on their common sense. They tell me, “I call on God only for the big decisions of life, but I’m capable of making the routine choices by myself.” Unfortunately, they interpret big decisions as whether the United States should withdraw from the United Nations or if this country should go to war with the enemy –courses of action in which they can contribute nothing directly. In other words, they rarely consult nothing directly. In other words, they rarely consult God for His leading regarding the direction of their own lives but lean on their own understanding.

Another difficutly relates to Choleric’s strong tendency to be independent and self- sufficient. Consequently they seldom ask the advice of friends. Having great confidence in their own ability to make proper choices, they rarely ask others who are in a position to be more objective.

When trouble arises, Cholerics tend to lower their heads and bulldoze their way through it. Consequently instead of recognizing when they have made a mistake and changing course, they plow straight ahead, relying on brute force and durability rather than divine guidance. More than any other temperament, Cholerics will force the square peg into a round hole and then expect God to bless their success.

Unfortunately, Cholerics often enjoy working for God more than spending time with Him. They need to learn to “delight (themselves) in the Lord” (Ps. 37:4). However, if Cholerics learn to submit their wills to God, He can use them powerfully. He can turn their goal-oriented drive into a useful tool for building His kingdom. When their wills are submitted to God, their tenacity and energy become positive forces.

Cholerics need to trust in the Lord, not in their own understanding. Like the Sanguines, they must use times of decision making to read and study the Bible, pray and seek God’s leading, consciously surrendering their will to Him. Cholerics can accomplish great things for God if they will follow His plan instead of their own, recognizing the principle, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Ps 127:1a).

Phlegmatics at Decision Time

The practical side of the quiet, gentle Phlegmatic tends to simplify the decision process of life. But once they know God’s will, they often lack the faith to step out and do it. They may be blessed with an objectivity about others’ problems and be able to render good advice to friends, but an obsessive self-protection and hesitancy to get involved makes them vacillate and worry about consequences almost as much as the Melancholics do. When Phlegmatics examine what’s involved and how God’s purposes will affect them, they lose their objectivity.

It always pains me to remind Phlegmatics that they tend to be selfish people –selfish about giving their love, themselves, their possessions, and their service. Thus every decision to take action is shrouded in the complexity of resistance. Because they tend to be stubborn, the more stubborn tries to push them, the more they resist. Consequently, they may reject the advice of well-meaning friends.

Phlegmatics will never openly rebel at God’s will, but they will refuse to act on it. Unless they’re deeply surrendered to doing His will –no matter what the cost –they will decline a positive response more diplomatically than any other temperament.

Phlegmatices’ preoccupation with self-protection hinders them from making many decisions. As pastor of a church for many years, I found that a public display of spiritual decisions was difficult for Phlegmatics. Many attended our church for a long time and were confident it was the place God wanted the family members would they take the public steps necessary to become a member.

Phlegmatics need to examine their motives whenever making a decision. If the road signs match up, yet they hesitate, they need to ask, “Am I resisting because I’m afraid of the consequences, or am I protecting myself rather than serving God?” They need to throw off the shell of self-protection, abandon themselves to the will of God, and pray, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” He hasn’t saved any of us to be potted plants but tools in His hand for reaching others.

Please read the complete book of temperaments by purchasing the book...Transformed Temperaments by Tim LaHaye

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