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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
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?

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