“…for to will is present with me; but the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”Rom 7:18–20.
Paul differentiated between himself and that uncontrollable force within by saying “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” The “I”is Paul’s person, the soul, will and mind of man.
The “sin”that dwelled in him was the natural weaknesses that he, like all human beings, inherited from his parents. We have all inherited a basic temperament from our parents that contains both strengths and weaknesses.
TEMPERAMENT: It is a combination of traits (e.g. nationality, race, sex and other hereditary factors) that subconsciously affects man’s behaviour.
CHARACTER: It is the real you. It is the result of your natural temperament modified by childhood training, education and basic attitudes, beliefs, principles and motivations. It is sometimes referred to as “the soul of man”which is made up of the mind, emotions and will.
PERSONALITY: It is the outward expression of ourselves, which may or may not be the same as our character depending on how genuine we are. Often personality is a pleasing façade for an unpleasant or weak character.
Rom 7:24; 2Cor 5:17; 2Pet 1:4.Dr. Henry Brandt, one of the leading Christian psychologists in America, once stated that if his patients would not accept Jesus Christ, he could not help them. He knew of no cure in the realm of psychology for all of man’s behavior problems, but Jesus Christ. Dr. Brandt also said: “You can use your background as an excuse for present behavior only until you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. After that you have a new power within you that is able to change your conduct.”
The Holy Spirit-filled temperament has nine all-encompassing strengths .spirit-filled man will have his own natural strengths, maintaining his individuality, but he will not be dominated by his weaknesses. Zambia let us look at these nine strengths which God desires for our leaders and ourselves to have. Love . This kind of love is supernatural. A love for God that causes a man to be more interested in the Kingdom of God than in the material kingdom in which he lives is supernatural. The Lord Jesus said, “Love your enemies …and do good to them that despitefully use you”. The twelve apostles represented all four of the temperament types, and yet the Lord said to them, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another’.
Joy. The joy provided by the Holy Spirit is not limited by circumstances. Joy is not the result of self-effort but is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Ps 4:7 Paul also said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content”. This supernatural joy is available for any Christian regardless of his basic or natural temperament. Jesus said, ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full”. John 15:11
Peace. The verses just preceding this one in Gal 5 describe not only the works of the natural man without the Spirit, but also his emotions, ‘…hatred, strivings, jealousies, wrath, divisions and envying.’ Thus, the ‘peace’spoken of here is really two-fold: ‘peace with God’and the ‘peace of God’. John 14:27 Man outside of Jesus Christ knows nothing of peace in relationship with God because his sin is ever before him and he knows he is accountable before God at the judgement. Rom 5:1 the peace of God, which is the antidote to worry, is not so automatically possessed by Christians. This peace is illustrated by the Lord Jesus who was sound asleep in the lower part of the ship while the 12 disciples were frightened beyond rationality. The Apostle Paul had this in mind when he wrote Phil 4:6-7.
Longsuffering . Patience and endurance are the most prominent synonyms which have been suggested by Bible commentators. It would be characterised by an ability to bear injuries or suffer reproof or affliction without answering in kind. A longsuffering person is one who can do the menial, forgotten and difficult tasks of life without complaining or seething, but graciously, as unto the Lord.
Gentleness. It is a thoughtful, polite, gracious, considerate, understanding act of kindness which stems from a very tender heart. Do not translate it with kindness or goodness. It is the result of the compassion of the Holy Spirit for a lost and dying humanity. The gentle spirit of the Lord Jesus serves as an illustration when contrasted with the disciples’cruel attitude towards the children who had been brought by their parents to be blessed. The Holy Spirit is able to give gentleness in the face of all kinds of pressures. Jesus, who possessed the Holy spirit ‘without measure’, pictured Himself as a shepherd gently caring for easily injured sheep, and He, through His followers, tenderly cares today. Road blocks at times do have gentle offices and manly others are rough because they lack this strength of the Holy Spirit and yet bus conductors, including some-politicians who fail to be polite on their friends need this strength. If any man has no strength to raise his own children he cannot have strength on leading the masses.
Goodness .It can be translated as ‘generous of self and possessions’. It includes hospitality and all acts of goodness that flow from the unselfish heart that is more interested in giving than receiving. All four of the natural temperaments are prone to be selfish and inconsiderate. It is particularly needed by those with melancholy tendencies as a cure for depression and gloom, caused by an over-indulgence in self-centred thought patterns. The Lord Jesus said, ‘It is better to give than to receive.
Faith .It is a complete abandonment to God and an absolute dependence upon Him. It is a perfect antidote to fear, which causes worry, anxiety, and pessimism. Faith is the key to many other Christian graces. Many of God’s people, like the nation of Israel, waste 40 years out in the desert of life because they do not believe God. Far too many Christians are like the 10 faithless spies who saw the giants in the land of Canaan and came home to cry, ‘We are as grasshoppers in their sight.’ There are 2 sources of faith: the Word of God in the life of the believer Rom 10:17 and the Holy Spirit.
Meekness . The greatest example in the world of meekness is the Lord Jesus himself. He was the creator of the universe, and yet was willing to humble Himself, take on the form of a servant, and become subject to the whims of humanity, even to the point of death, for our redemption. He said of Himself, “I am meek and lowly in heart”. Only the supernatural indwelling of the Spirit of God could cause any of us to react to physical or emotional persecution in meekness.
Self-Control .Man’s natural inclination is to follow the path of least resistance. Self-control will solve the Christian’s problem of emotional outbursts such as rage, anger, fear and jealousy and cause him to avoid emotional excesses of any kind. The spirit-controlled temperament will be one that is consistent, dependable and well ordered. All four basic temperament types have a common difficulty that will be overcome by the Spirit-filled trait of self-control. That weakness is an inconsistent or ineffective devotional life. No Christian can be mature in Christ, steadily filled with the Holy Spirit, and usable in the hand of God, who does not regularly feed on the Word of God.
As you look at these nine admirable traits of the Spirit-filled man, you not only get a picture of what God wants our leaders to be, but also what He is willing to make you in spite of your natural temperament. It should, however, be borne in mind that no amount of self-improvement or self-effort can bring any of these traits into our lives without the power of the Holy Spirit. Anger takes many forms. Many leaders in Zambia do not regard themselves as angry individuals because they don’t understand the many disguises anger takes. Here are the 16 variations of anger:
Bitterness; Wrath; Malice; Hatred; Clamour; Seditions; Envy; Jealousy; Resentment; Attack; Intolerance; Gossip; Criticism; Sarcasm; Revenge; Unforgiveness. ‘It is difficult to separate the physical price paid for anger from the financial, because anger and bitterness produce so much stress which in turn causes physical disorder so that much money is spent needlessly for doctors and drugs. Fear, like Anger, takes many forms. Here are some variations of fear: Anxiety; Worry; Doubts; Inferiority; Timidity; Cowardice; Indecision; Suspicion; Superstition; Hesitancy; Withdrawal; Depression; Loneliness; Haughtiness; Over Aggression; Social Shyness
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