►Part 5 of a 6 part seriesIn the first part of this series, we explained how people’s temperaments (based upon the Arno Profile System) affect how their minds function and how each needs to wage spiritual warfare differently in this area. We looked at melancholies, sanguines and cholerics in previous posts and will now consider phlegmatics.
This post, and others in the series, are adapted from the NCCA newsletters containing articles in the “Temperament Corner” by Dr. Phyllis Arno.
Below are some typical life circumstances and associated thoughts that the Phlegmatic might deal with. Phlegmatic’s are extremely slow-paced and stubborn. The Phlegmatic goes through life doing as little as possible, quietly, and expending little energy. It is not clear whether the Phlegmatic has very little energy, or it is because they refuse to use what little energy they do have.
- Being Pushed to Socialize
- “How am I going to get out of this mess? It is my birthday and I don’t want to go out to dinner and a show!” “I’ll just make reservations for my wife and my parents and tell them to have a great time.” “I’ll tell them that I am too tired, and then I will go rest and watch TV while they are out celebrating my birthday!” (Scriptures: II Samuel 16:17, Proverbs 18:24, I John 1:7)
- Being Pushed to Make Change
- “I am not going to change the way everything is set up in my office!” “I don’t care if my boss feels the change will be better or not, it just takes up too much of my energy to make the changes he/she wants!” “If they want the office changed, they will have to do it themselves!” “I’ll just tell them, ‘Have fun and I will take a break!’” Scriptures: Isaiah 43:18-19, Ezekiel 36:26a, II Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:23-24
- Being Pushed to Exercise
- “They are crazy if they think I am going to exercise for an hour!” “I am just too tired and I have other things I must do; but first, I will relax, watch some TV, eat a snack, take a little nap, then do the things that must be done before I go to bed!” Scriptures: Matt. Proverbs 6:9, Isaiah 40:28-31, Col. 3:23
- Loss of a Spouse
- “What am I going to do now? I am so angry at them for dying!” “Now I have to carry the whole load!” “I guess I will go get a snack, take a nap, and go watch TV. I am overwhelmed and exhausted; I will have to deal with this tomorrow…!” Scriptures: Psalm 23:4, Psalm 119:76, II Corinthians 1:3-4, Romans 8:36-39, I Peter 5:7
- Need for Details
- “I wish she would stop crying!” “I know she is in pain and needs medical help, but first, I need all the details before I can call 911!” “If they want me to work on this project they will have to give me the details; otherwise, I don’t want to waste my time getting started and then have to start over again.” Scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 10:9, I Corinthians 13:9-12, James 1:5
- Need for Perfection
- “How can I turn in a less than perfect report?” “Why don’t they stop pressuring me?” “All people ever do is push me!” “I’ll file this report when I am good and ready!” “I need to be able to take the time to do it right because it needs to be perfect; and right now, I am exhausted.” Scriptures: II Samuel 22:33, Isaiah 41:13, II Corinthians 12:9
The Phlegmatic tends to operate in a “survival mode.” They only do what they must, and they do this by minimally meeting their responsibilities. When their responsibilities become too overwhelming, their dry, sometimes sarcastic humor is a way for them to escape these responsibilities. For example: When they say something sarcastic, and you say, “Wow! That was cutting or harsh.” They will come back with: “Can’t you take a joke?” They do this to “smooth over” what they said so that you do not become angry with them, which would cause them more stress.
For the Phlegmatic, their mind, like the Melancholies’, can actually be a private place to escape from the demands of life; however, they too can tend to think negative thoughts and when they become too much to bear, they try to escape with watching television, eating, alcohol, the internet, pornography, etc. This is really no escape because it then opens them up to more negative thoughts and problems.
Phlegmatics must learn how to wage and win the battle of the mind. Phlegmatics need to remember that God does not force them to yield their negative thoughts to Him, but when they do, they will have balance in their life so they can enjoy their family and friends instead of always being exhausted and overextended. They must learn to take these thoughts captive and replace them with the truth of the Word.
Part 1: Know Your Spiritual Temperament And Win More Mind Battles
Part 2: Mind Battles for Melancholies
Part 3: Mind Battles for Sanguines
Part 4: Mind Battles for Cholerics
Part 6: Mind Battles for Supines