Tim LaHaye’s book Spirit-Controlled Temperament examines the four basic temperaments while discussing how Christians can live Spirit-filled lives. In a friendly but honest fashion, Dr. LaHaye introduces the reader to the strengths and weaknesses of the Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic temperaments.
After reading the descriptions of each one’s characteristics, it’s easy to feel discouraged, seeing only our shortcomings. But Tim LaHaye reminds us, the Holy Spirit-filled temperament does not have weaknesses; instead it has nine strengths: the fruit of the Spirit! No matter our natural temperament, the Spirit gives us strength for every weakness.
Appropriate in a discussion of personality, Tim LaHaye points out that either anger or fear are often root causes for the problems in our lives. Anger and bitterness have negative effects, not only on us, but on those around us. A bitter person cannot bear fruit when stifled by anger. Fear is lack of faith, a barrier in our relationship with God and our family. And both produce emotional stress that causes many physical illnesses. How important it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
In conclusion, Spirit-Controlled Temperament shows the “modified” temperaments — how our natural personality looks when it’s Spirit-controlled. The Spirit-filled Sanguine will show a strength of character in the self-control that she needs in her life. The Spirit-filled Choleric will be dynamic in her love, peace, gentleness, and goodness. The Spirit-filled Melancholy will have a joy and peace which will revolutionize his outlook on life. And the Spirit-filled Phlegmatic will become less stubborn, fearful, and indifferent, while becoming more open, self-controlled, and much more motivated, to make a great, personable leader for Christ.
Spirit-Controlled Temperament is a helpful tool in discovering our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as in understanding why others do what they do. Whether you’re looking for an in-depth study of personality types, or valuable insight on living a Spirit-filled life, you’ll find it in this classic from Tim LaHaye.
“No one temperament can be said to be better than another. Each one contains strengths and richness, yet each one is fraught with its own weaknesses and dangers.”
-Tim LaHaye, in Spirit-Controlled Temperament