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Episode #71 – Personality Versus Temperament

April 27, 2008

with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest Julie

(J) Well we are in Lubbock, Texas. We’re at the Aromas coffee house. And we are visiting Julie and enjoying her and her children. At the coffee house here we’ve got several people that have been listening to the podcasts, so we’re going to do a podcast in front of them, and see how this all goes. And we’re hoping that there’s going to be a question and answer time so that some people that have been hearing the podcast could actually ask questions on the podcast. And I just think that would be a neat dynamic. So we’re still kind of on the same subject that we’ve been going on. But you seem to have a new revelation this morning on this, so I’d like to hear what that is, and see where we go with this.
(M) OK. The Lord did give me something that I felt from Him that He wanted me to clarify, and it is that your choice does not give you power, the legitimate choice is to give up power to God. Your choice gives God the power in that you give Him permission to effect your choice and bring it about. I was looking at Revelation this week, and I’ll just tell this part, and then I’ll go to some questions. I saw something I’d never seen before. In the church at Ephesus, the Lord says, I commend you for you hate the deeds of the Nicholations. Then in the third church, which I can’t remember right now,  (or the Church of Pergamos) He says to that church, I hold this against you that there are those who hold fast to the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolations, which I hate.  And I discovered that the word Nicholation means, control people, in Greek. And the word Balaam means, control people, in Hebrew.
(J) You mean literally, that’s the translation of it.
(M) Literally. And in Ephesus of course it’s about you have left your first love. And it seemed to me that you leave your first love when your choice is taken over by those who control, and who want control. And God wants us to hate wherever there’s control. He has the right to control. We have merely the right to influence. I thought it was interesting that He brought me there as we were doing this podcast on choice.
(J) The churches in Revelation, they’re literally, that’s what you’re saying, that their hatred was of controlling basically, and the teaching that would control others. That’s what they hated, and that’s what they were commended for, for not controlling.
(M) And of course the whole seven churches is about being an overcomer. And one of the things we are to overcome is control. The Nicholations and Balaam are still with us, and we as overcomers, overcome the control of other people, so that we’re controlled only by the Holy Spirit.
(J) So it’s really about Lord-ship then.
(M) Yes.
(J) So He was just saying that I’m commending the fact that you’re not allowing someone to take your life choices from you and control you, that you are allowing me to be Lord. So He was just commending them for allowing Him to be Lord, is that right?
(M) I hadn’t seen that, that’s great. And I think that that is the fight. I can look back through forty years of walking with the Lord, and know that a string of people have passed through my life to control me. And also, I think we’re to oppose it in the Body.
(J) Oh absolutely, definitely.
(M) He’s commending Ephesus as a Body, not as an individual. And as a Body we’re to help each other to refuse the control that is human, it’s just human.
(J) Well you know we all get fearful, and we want to control, you know. I’ve been controlled, and I’ve seen people controlling. And so basically as a Body you were saying, they were watching out for one another and putting a stop to that. Making it evident by saying something or doing something, whatever, however the Spirit led.
(M) Yeah, and I have seen that in our Body over the years, that one or another would rise up in control, and someone would have to point it out, and be accountable for that. So it is a Body matter. We overcome individually, and we overcome as a Body. But what we are overcoming is the control of man over man, of humanity, that is illegitimate. But we’ve been on personality, and I think you had a question.
(Participant) The question is how do values determine your personality?
(M) Ok, that’s a good question. By the time this gets on the air, you’ll have heard three more sessions, which I’m not sure answer your question at all. Because Julie and I have been talking about that today. You know, it’s all a matter of definition, and I’m using personality almost in terms of character. God creates you with a temperament, and you usually can’t change that. God creates you with a certain creation, but He leaves a portion of your being to your choice. And that choice is what you value as character. And what I saw was that your character, the character you form by choices, permeates everything, including your gifts of the Spirit, and your temperament. What you choose completely saturates everything about you, I believe including your body, the cells of your body; and that your choices of values affect you that significantly, profoundly and eternally. And I think I’ve said on other podcasts that God creates situations so that you can see the choices that you have made, or the choices you are to make. It’s a great question, and we sort of anticipated it today because Julie had some great things to say. Can you remember how you got to that, that we’re totally accountable?
(Julie) Well I was asking you to clarify the difference between the terms that you were using. And you began to explain to me that temperament is what we’re born with. And so I said, to see if I understood you, so temperament is kind of like the latent thing that is in you, but then personality is activated when you need to engage kind of like in a social setting. Is that right? And when you began to explain that to me it suddenly occurred to me then, because you had made a statement in this first podcast on personality that I was listening to, where you read the scripture in the Amplified defining faith, that says that faith is the leaning of your entire personality on God, trusting in His goodness and whatever else all the Amplified says. And you were explaining to me that personality is a matter of choice, like character is a matter of choice. So I said, ok then personality is responsive. Temperament is sort of latent and given, and personality is responsive. And then when you said yes, then all of a sudden it hit me, then that means that I am totally accountable for my personality because it is a constant response. And ultimately we went on from there. I don’t know if you want to share that, but we went on from there to the fact that it is a response at every moment to God, for or against Him. Yes, personality then, in any situation, everyday, it is a constant choice. Because it’s a choice of faith, then it is a choice of response, for or against God in every situation. And that constant choice, for or against God, is what shapes my personality. Is that right?
(M) That’s right. And what you said was that that means we are totally accountable; which the scripture says, thou art without excuse O man. And we will give an account, for every thought, word and deed, done in the body. And so the part God leaves to us is that great huge word ‘if’. ‘If’ any man will be my disciple, let him give up all his possessions. The great ‘if’ is all through Jesus words especially. Otherwise we would be robots, and God wouldn’t want that anymore than I would want a robot. And we talked a little bit about how we make choices from the womb.
(Julie) Well, that’s a huge revelation to me, that I am accountable for my personality. Because I think that one of the common things in our culture right now, a belief in our culture, is that personality is something that I can’t help. But according to that definition from the Amplified, if faith is the leaning, that implies a choice. I choose whether or not I’m going to lean my personality on God. And so that means that at every moment I am totally accountable for my personality. And you know it goes into Romans, the first part of Romans one, two and three talks about, that man is without excuse because the invisible qualities of God are evident. And so any one of us in any nation, in any culture, any anything, is without excuse. Because I always have the choice of whether or not I’m going to act out my personality in response to faith, for or against the testimony of God that surrounds me. So I am without excuse. I can’t say, oh, it’s just my personality to be this way. That’s such an irresponsible thing to say really, because then you’re expecting everybody else to adjust to your choices.
(M) And to excuse your behavior, that’s just who I am. I’ve heard that many times, that’s just who I am. Well, your temperament is just who you are. I’m not a mathematician, I can’t help that, but I am an artist. You’re right, the absolute accountability that we have, most of us have no concept of.
(Julie) The choice is so much more basic, because what you just said is kind of like a choice of ability. But it’s not a choice of ability it’s a choice of faith.
(M) It’s a choice of character.
(Julie) Ok, you go with that. Tell me more about that.
(M) We are aware of personality. We think we are aware of personality. What we are aware of is outward behavior, but personality is inward, and it is character. You asked if it is the same, if character and personality are the same, and it’s a very good question; as I’m using it, yes. The development of personality is character, and character becomes outward. What you’ve chosen becomes outward. And what you’ve chosen is the influence you will exert. On one of the podcasts I talk about influence. But Julie’s insight was, who you give your will to submit to. And I wanted to go back and review a little bit, because we’re doing this in such pieces, you know, its a little piece every week. I began with, that choice is always life or death. The choice is between life and death. Everything is life and death. Every conversation is life or death. And if your choice is always life, if you want to live, and your choice is always life, you will choose character and the choice of God and God’s ways. And your choices will end in either life or death. And we’ve seen that so vividly over the years in our fellowship. Some people want to have both, their way, and God’s way, and it can’t be done.

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