Individual Style. Personalities studies have always fascinated me.
To help us better grasp the various personalities let’s use a simple tool. Florence Littauer has influenced me the most when it comes to personalities. So I will use the four she uses in her writings: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic.
Our space is limited, but these few descriptions should allow you to see where you fit.
I have watched people take jobs that simply did not fit their personality. If they had better understood themselves, life would have been much more enjoyable.
Sanguines love people, love to talk, and love to have fun. On the downside they can be motivated by their emotions. Popularity is their theme. They like to be the center of attention.
Choleric people love to be in control, do things their way, and thrive on the task at hand. Production is their theme.
Melancholy people thrive on order. They can’t stand chaos and clutter. Perfection is their theme.
The Phlegmatic personality loves people, loves to listen, and prefers to do things the easy way. You can tell by those things that their theme is Peace. They are not a fan of conflict. Sure most aren’t, but they are the peacemakers.
So where does David fit in? As a writer of many of the Psalms it seems clear that we could put him in the Melancholy category. While many melancholy people are less likely to share their deepest emotions, David clearly did. Since we all have a primary and secondary personality let’s put his secondary personality in the Choleric grouping.
As a choleric David thrived on challenges, excelled during times of crisis, and was very decisive.
Growth Phase. We have already mentioned David killing a bear and a lion. Evidently he was not ready for the giant until after those encounters. Also there were many lessons regarding leadership and servanthood that God could teach him while he was alone tending the sheep. Too often we find ourselves thinking we are ready, when in reality we are just getting warmed up.
Lead sheep….kill a bear and a lion…kill Goliath….lead an army….lead Israel as king. David grew during each phrase as God was preparing him for what He had prepared for him: Lead the nation of Israel.
Alan Redpath commented, “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of the moment; the manufacturing of a saint is the task of a lifetime.” If we could only be patient enough until the timing was right. No one wants to eat a cake if it comes out of the oven too early. Too often we run ahead of God while He is still manufacturing us.
Natural Abilities. While David was tending sheep he developed the skill of slinging. He also was being prepared by God as shepherding was exhausting work. Think of the patience David developed as sheep are among the dumbest animals. Add in unfavorable weather elements and predators. You become good at planning, thinking ahead. You also get a lot of time to reflect, which is something foreign to our fast-paced culture. Think how valuable this was for David as he penned many of the Psalms. Who hasn’t been touched by the twenty-third Psalm. It would be hard to find someone who has never heard of it. Yet what are the first words? “The Lord is my shepherd…” His natural ability, that of a shepherd, taught him much about God.
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I am Mike Henderson, speaker, author, husband of my best friend, proud father of 5, and grandfather of 4. I like to hike with my wife, golf with my kids, travel, read books, and start new projects. My purpose for this blog is to help people and to give people hope.
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