Every human being has been created in the image of Almighty God. Our Creator places “a portion of his Spirit” in the union of male and female and the result is “godly offspring” (Gen. 1:27; Mal. 2:15). Even though hundreds of thousands of babies are conceived each day, God generates a unique human being every time. Isn’t this an incredible testament to his eternal wisdom and power?
Even so, the creation of humanity goes far deeper than the physical body. The psalmist praised God that his inward man had been “formed” and “knit together” in his mother’s womb, the result being a “fearfully and wonderfully made” individual (Psa. 139:14). Modern counselors refer to this innermost being as “temperament”.
Through psychological investigation, researchers have discovered five temperament types: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, Phlegmatic and Supine. Furthermore, most people possess district blendings of temperament in, at least, one area of their psyche. The three areas are known as “Inclusion”, “Control”, and “Affection”.
Inclusion refers to interaction with surface relationships via human intellect. Control, just as it sounds, speaks to the control (or, will) that one will allow from others, and the amount of control one desires to exercise over others. Affection refers to the emotional aspect of temperament.
None of us are born “blank slates”. We each look differently inside from the very moment we were conceived. Just as all of us vary from one another in physical appearance, we differ within. People may look alike but even identical twins are not exactly the same in appearance. The same may be said about the distinctiveness of each temperament.
Each one of us have been “set apart”, “known” and “named” by Yahweh God before birth (Isa. 49:1; Jer. 1:5; Gal. 1:15). Understanding that God has made each of us unique, helps us to realize that we came into this world with certain aspirations, hopes, needs, and fore-ordained life accomplishments (cf. Psa. 139:16; Acts 4:28; Eph. 1:11, et al).
Therefore, temperament importantly reveals God’s purpose and plan for everybody. We may use this information, combined with the word of God, to counsel an individual into a better knowledge of God’s intention for his or her life.
Though none of us can see the future, we trust in the one who does. We seek his guidance to help the counselee conform more closely to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. This is done by teaching godly methods for meeting unique temperament needs, which will aid the counselee to make improvements upon thinking, choices, lifestyle habits, relationships and spiritual growth.
Temperament counseling is not a rigid therapeutic procedure that ignores or closes off the Lord’s guidance and instruction from the word of God. It is a method used for direction, healing and spiritual freedom in the counseling setting. This psychological tool has been employed for millennia to successfully understand, identify, manage, and heal mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges.
Whereas most people do not know the intricacies of temperament, everyone can understand the precious truths of God’s word. With the help of a certified temperament therapist, the counselee can learn about how to face his or her unique challenges and apply God’s holy wisdom to life.
Change is never instantaneous, but through faithful implementation of the word of God, we all can renew our minds and “shine brighter and brighter until full day” (Prov. 4:18). – Michael A. Hildreth