Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Personalities, Emotions and Help from the Holy Spirit

Harrison, NY Train WreckImage by George Eastman House via Flickr

Good Evening to All!

Before I get started, I would like to comment on this picture to my right. I tried to find a picture that would depict different emotions, you know like happy, sad, frantic, well, you get the picture. All I could come up with is a Music band called Emotion, Hillary Clinton, or this train wreck. Guess which one I chose. I chose this because at a time in my life before I realized I could call on God to help me calm down, ( you ladies of the 40-50 range) know what I mean, this is what my emotions were like. My Poor Hubby! He used to throw his cap in the door before he walked in. I still have my days, but all in all I can usually catch myself and say, ok God, help me calm down, and by the time I get that out, my temper has cooled somewhat. Enough that my hubby's not worried about what's gonna come out of my mouth.

Even if we do not consider ourselves to be "emotional people" we each have emotions and are in danger by being led by them. One morning we can wake up feeling depressed and end up being miserably depressed all day. the next day, we may wake up angry--feeling like we really need to tell someone off and that's what we end up doing. Other times we start feeling sorry for ourselves and sit in a corner and cry all day long.

If we allow them to do so, feelings will stir up problems that will cause us to move out of the will of God and into the will of the deceiver, Satan. I'm sure this is what stirred up all of the school shootings in the past, the Washington sniper, and so on. Emotions are a dangerous thing if not kept in check.

The Bible teaches in Isaiah 61:3 that we can put on the "garment of praise". By singing or playing good Christian music we can fight against the negative feeling that desires to control us all day. We have to learn to be aware of our emotions and know how to manage them correctly. One way to do that is by recognizing different personality types and knowing how they react differently to similar situations.

There are four basic personality types. The first type is called choleric, which are born leaders. their strong personalities want to be in control. One of the strengths of those who fall into this category is that they usually get a lot accomplished. One of their weaknesses is that they have a tendency to be bossy. Cholerics are normally strongly goal-oriented and motivated by new ideas and challenges.

The next personality type is called phlegmatic. These people usually show little or no emotion at all. What is interesting is that a choleric often marries a phlegmatic. I guess this is when the "old saying opposites attract, comes into play. One person gets excited about something and the other says, "we'll see. It's as though one person is being emotional and the other logical. One thing that is good for the people with phlegmatic personalities to remember is that they need to exercise their faith and make an effort to show some emotion. It can be very dull living with an individual who is bland about everything. If you are a low-key person, you need to stretch yourself on purpose for the sake of others with whom you are in relationship. We are operating in love when we sacrifice ourselves and do what others need us to do.

On the other hand, if you are more emotional and tend to get aggressively excited about new things you are involved in, you may need to learn to tone down your emotions and become more of a balanced person. Remember, it is difficult for a more serious and sober person to relate to you because he/she does not feel what you feel. The answer, of course, is balance.

The third personality type is called sanguine. This is the most emotional type of all. the sanguine personality is bubbly and seems to bounce through life. It is easy to tell when a sanguine comes into the room. their voice can be heard above everyone else's: "Oh, I'm so excited to be here!" The sanguine has a tendency to get on the nerves of a choleric, because they are so full of fun and energy they are usually oblivious to anything other than having a good time, which to a choleric who is serious, and goal-oriented wants to stick to the "plan" and head toward it.

Sanguines often marry the fourth type, called melancholy. As you can guess, melancholies are those who have the most trouble with depression. they are the "deep" people--the thinkers--the organizers. They are the ones who are so organized they alphabetise their spice racks. They tie their shoelaces and put them inside their shoes before carefully placing them in the closet. They believe there is a place for everything, and everything should be in its place.

Sanguines are frequently not very disciplined, and this is of course very difficult for the melancholy types to handle. Melancholies are really neat people. They always have a plan, but they usually end up married to sanguines who couldn't care less whether there is a plan or not. Even if they did have a plan, sanguines wouldn't remember it for more than five minutes...(hey wait...that sounds like me!) they are the ones who park their car in a parking lot or garage, and then can't remember where they left it! As you can see, how you and I react to emotions depends to an extent upon which of these four types best describes our individual personality: choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine, or melancholy. Most of us are a blend of two or more of the personality types. It really helps to know yourself. There are some good Christian books available on the subject: Spirit-Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaye and The Personality Tree by Florence Littauer. Always remember that we can learn to control our weaknesses through the power of the Holy spirit and in doing so become well-balanced individuals who cannot be controlled by Satan.

Fighting Emotions

Holy Spirit dove window

[Therefore, I do not treat God's gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor ) of God....Galatians 2:21

At first it won't be easy to overcome emotions. It never is. When you and I initially begin to break ourselves of any habit, we have a struggle on our hands. We have to fight within ourselves, crying out to God, "Lord, help me!" It is so wonderful to know that the Holy Spirit is always with us to help us all the time.

If you know you have given yourself over to some bad habit like emotional eating, when you sit down to the table you have to say within yourself, "Holy Spirit, help me not to overeat." In a restaurant where everybody at your table is ordering dessert, and you can feel yourself starting to waiver, you can cry out inside, "Holy Spirit, help me !" I have found that if I depend upon my flesh through sheer willpower or determination alone, I will fail every time. But if I am determined to resist temptation by calling on the power of the Holy Spirit, I find the strength I need for success. I have discovered that the Lord is not going to do everything for us in this life. We can't just find someone to lay hands on us and pray for us to be set free from all our bondages. There is a part we must play with our minds and wills. It takes a combination of faith and action.The Apostle Paul said that he did not6 take the grace of God in vain. (Gal. 2:21.) He meant that he did not expect God to do everything for him without doing his part too. God give us the ability to do what we need to do, but we must choose right action.

The writer of the book of Proverbs tells us: The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] and with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation) (Prov. 4:7.) In other words, we need to be able to see through the lies Satan speaks t our mind and past the feelings he stirs up within us. we must keep our eyes on the Word of God and do what it says--not what the enemy causes us to feel like doing.

If you are going to be a person who is committed to the Word of God, you will have to learn to be led by the spirit and not by your emotions.

whenever an emotion rises up on the inside of me, I test it to see if it is in line with the Word of God. It is not, the Holy Spirit reveals it to me, and I resist it.

That's how we fight against our emotions--by using our will to make a decision to follow God's Word rather than our feelings.

I can see in my mind's eye some of y'all nodding your head and saying "yeah, right". Well, I guarantee it works. If you ask God, He will help you. Of course then the other is true. Depend on yourself, and fly off the handle, then 10 minutes later have to swallow your pride and slink over to your hubby and say I'm sorry. I'm not sure which one of the personalities stubbornness fits into, but I've got a lot of that one in me and I desperately hate to admit I've been wrong, but in the last few years I've been getting better. Not only because that what God wants me to do, but to keep peace in my family. I think our problem is that we both are a lot alike and both want the last word, and so forth. As I said, God is really working hard on me because even though I have a long way to go, He has also brought me a long way. You notice I said He brought me a long way, and I wasn't talking about my hubby. If it can happen to me, it can happen for anyone.

There is a lot more which I am unable to cover about managing emotions, but I have always been intrigued by the personality types ever since our former pastor did a Study on them for a Wednesday night service.

Father in Heaven, I ask that you open the hearts and minds of those who read this post so that they might be able to receive it as it was meant. Help each and everyone to be able to learn to control their emotions and bridle their tongues if need be. I know that bridling my tongue is a full-time job, but I'm sure that there are others who feel the same way I do, so I ask that you help them also. I come to you and ask in Jesus' Name, Amen

My reference for this post was Joyce Meyer's --Managing Your Emotions Instead of your Emotions Managing You.

Good Night All, and May God Bless!


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Lynette said...

ok what do I do if I am three of the 4? lol
choleric, which are born leaders
sanguine personality is bubbly and seems to bounce through life.
melancholies are those who have the most trouble with depression. they are the "deep" people--the thinkers--the organizers.
does that confirm i am a split personality?

Anonymous said...

Gosh I feel like I'm a little bit of each. But definitely most similar to choleric.

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