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Understanding your spiritual weaknesses

Michael Mangis, a Wheaton College professor, wrote about the correlation between temperament and spiritual weaknesses. He looked at the tendencies of the four basic personality types and drew the following conclusions.   A life, like a landscape, has natural contours. Like flaws in a …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Michael Mangis, a Wheaton College professor, wrote about the correlation between temperament and spiritual weaknesses. He looked at the tendencies of the four basic personality types and drew the following conclusions.

 
A life, like a landscape, has natural contours. Like flaws in a diamond, our vulnerabilities distinguish us. Human thought and behavior fall into identifiable patterns, temperaments or personality types. Understanding our temperament helps us deal with spiritual differences.
 

The Guardians (SJ) tend to distrust God’s grace and unpredictability. Those who hunger for control, tradition and order will need to seek the antidote of surrender.
 
The Artisans (SP) are easily swayed by passions and experiences, too easily misled. They are suspicious of the God of wrath and judgment. The antidote requires discipline.
 
The Idealists (NF) pursue vision, dreams and adventures and hunger for silence and solitude to search for inward meaning. Signature sins are the tendencies to manipulate others and rely on their own intuition over the authority of others. The antidote is humility.
 
The Rationals (NT) trust intuition. The signature sin is intellectual snobbery and the antidote is to acknowledge the value and truth of the messy and mysterious.
 

Trying to examine your own soul is like performing a do-it-yourself appendectomy. We must approach with caution the task of naming our own temperament and signature sin. Self-examination is an important part of the process of spiritual formation, but we cannot fully trust our own evaluation of ourselves.
 
What are your spiritual weaknesses? What adjustments might God want you to make?

Comments (5)

  • The NF describes me to a “T”. Just yesterday, I had to make some apologies for being a little too NF-ish. I realized I was caring a little more if people accepted me, rather than obeying God’s leading. I ate some humble pie and really liked it.
    My heart is at peace today…

  • i did an analysis a while ago and the NF population is double at Adventures than what it normally is in the world. I think around 30%. If it feels like we have a lot of SJs, its cause they just make up 46.4% of any normal group. Ironically, we are low on SPs.

  • Thanks for this Seth. I have to be honest. A taxonomy like this begs for exceptions. Hope you are well where you find yourself on the spectrum. 🙂

  • I am the signature NF! I think this whole season these last couple months has been the Lord stripping me and teaching me humility, and we are still on this journey. . . hard, but so good and so rewarding.

  • This is right on (from an affirmed/confirmed NF). Do you have any idea what the ratio of temperaments is at AIM? Lately, there seems to be an increase of SJ’s or is that just an NFism?

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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