Temperament Corner


Dr. Phyllis J. Arno
Dr. Phyllis J. Arno


Matthew 13:45-46 (NIV) tells us:“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”


God sees each of us as a pearl of great value. He paid dearly for us with His Son, Jesus! We are more valuable and precious to Him than we can ever imagine!

As counselors, people come to you hurting and broken; they tend to feel that they have no value, that they are invisible, hidden, overlooked, and that nobody cares.

Can you, as a counselor, see them as a pearl of great value, as God does?Pearl

Question: “Why is a pearl so valuable?”

The answer is: “In order to have a pearl of great value, the pearl must go through a tremendous amount of irritation; and during the process, it becomes refined and beautiful.”

Some pearls have more irritations than others, just as some people have more irritations than others.

The people that come to you are going through irritations—emotionally, physically and/or spiritually.

Many times when your counselees are going through their hurts, pains and suffering, they tend to feel that there is no hope.

You, as a temperament counselor, have a calling on your life—to help God’s hurting people.

You are there to give them HOPE – Jesus!

God wants you to see each person that comes to you as a “pearl of great value.”

With the APS profile God has given us insight into how He created us with our strengths, weaknesses and needs—an inside look at His pearls of great value.

Since you too, have gone through a refining process with your hurts and suffering and pain, you can use what you have gone through to help and encourage your counselees.

We are going to look at the Melancholy in Inclusion to see what may be irritating and causing them pain and stress in this area:

1. Interacting with people.

Melancholies in Inclusion need a minimal amount of interaction with people because they are loners and task oriented, not relationship oriented. They do not feel comfortable being around people and tend to be guarded when they are.

Physically, because they are loners, being pushed or forced into socializing for long periods of time may cause them to suffer migraines, headaches, ulcers, and other physical problems

Emotionally, interacting with people too much will cause them to become angry, resentful, withdrawn and moody.

Spiritually, if forced to interact with people for long periods of time, they may become so stressed that they will pull away from God—they do not want to interact with anyone, including God.

They need to learn to stay involved with their relationships and learn to maintain balance between being alone and socializing. They also need to learn that during times of physical and emotional stress they need to stay close to the Lord.

See I John 1:7: (KJV) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” See also Galatians 6:2.

2. Striving for perfection.

Melancholies in Inclusion tend to have low self-esteem, and they tend to expect perfection from themselves and others. They tend to feel that if they can become perfect enough, they will then have value; however, they will never be able to measure up to their own standard of perfection.

Because of the high standards they set for themselves and others, they can become angry, frustrated and stressed. This is because they tend to have a   difficult time completing their goals as they will keep reworking a project until they “dig” themselves into a “pit” and can’t complete the project.

Physically, when the stress becomes too much for them, they may tend to neglect their physical body by not eating properly and exercising.

Emotionally, when they are unable to deal with everyday life, they will avoid being with people because of their fear of criticism about their imperfections.

Spiritually, they will tend to feel that they are not good enough for God, so they will avoid going to church, reading the Holy Scriptures and socializing with Christians.

They need to learn to give themselves and others the right to be imperfectotherwise, they will never believe that they are good enough for God. They need to remember that only God is perfect and we are all works in progress.”

See Hebrews 13:20, 21: (KJV) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” See also I John 2:5 and I John 4:12. 3.

3. Inability to shut off their mind.

Melancholies in Inclusion tend to replay over and over again in their mind negative incidents that have occurred in their life. They tend to actually relive past incidents as if they just happened! This will keep them from forgiving and forgetting.

Melancholies in Inclusion also tend to perceive rejection where none exists; this is because of their low self-esteem.

Physically, because of their inability to shut off their mind, forgive and forget, they will tend to become withdrawn and pull farther away from family and friends. They will tend to not be able to sleep as their mind keeps reviewing the past hurts, and they will lack the energy to do anything but think. They may even neglect their personal hygiene.

Emotionally, they can become incapable of communicating with others as they are so engrossed in reliving incidents from the past. This may even cause them to shut down emotionally.

Spiritually, if they cannot shut off their mind, they will have no time for prayer, attending church or Bible studies.

They need to learn to stop focusing on the negative, forgive and move forward, and be more trusting in God. They need to bind their mind to Him so that they will be thinking His thoughts—not theirs.

See Philippians 4:8: (KJV) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” See also Isaiah 26:3 and Isaiah 43:18.

4. Fear regarding finances.

This will cause them stress because they tend to live in the fear of not being able to support their family and pay the bills.

Physically, they can spend sleepless nights worrying and stressing about how they can pay their bills. They will either tend to eat little or binge eat. They may even take on an additional job or two to help pay bills.

Emotionally, they can also become angry and irritated because they think their family is spending too much money on things they do not need. If they confront the family about their spending, this will tend to cause conflict and additional stress.

Spiritually, their stress can cause them to be so preoccupied with finances that they do not think they have the time to spend with the Lord.

They need to learn to face their fears and work out a budget. Many times their fears are dwelling on the “what if’s.”

They need to learn to look to God and put their trust in Him. He will guide them and give them peace regarding their finances.

See Isaiah 41:10: (KJV) “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” See also Psalm 34:8 and Matthew 6:28-30.

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Melancholy in Inclusion you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, learned behavior, personality and birth order.

In the next issue we will look at the Pearl of Great Value—Phlegmatic in Inclusion.


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2 thoughts on “Temperament Corner”

  1. Greetings,
    What a Powerful Insight! on Melancholy Inclusion;
    I always enjoy the information this publication ( The Enlightener) provides. We as professionals need nuggets to keep us fresh and abreast of things for use in the field and ministry.
    Knowledge Is Power! (TGBTG)
    To God Be The Glory!

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