Much To Talk
About, So Little Time
By Rebecca Rushmore
previous article introduced the topic of personalities. The statement was made
that people tend to identify more easily with others like themselves, even
Bible characters. One specific personality type (the choleric) was then
addressed. This article will move to another type of personality — the
sanguine personality type is a very fun-loving individual. These people are
very easy to pick out in a crowd. The sanguine always has friends around and is
compelled to make them laugh. Sanguines are full of energy. They bounce from
one activity to another. Craving attention, the sanguine loves to be the star. In
all things, he tries to have fun and complete any task at hand “the happy way.”
are some weaknesses in the sanguine personality as well. Because he always
wants to be the center of attention, this lively person is many times a show
off or class clown. He is restless and frequently leaves projects or goals
before completing them. The sanguine is often undisciplined, disorganized and
sanguine personality is one that characterizes a person who is warm, friendly
and very sensitive. An individual with these traits needs attention and
approval from those around him. If you meet an exuberant salesman or a stranger
that goes out of the way to meet you, a sanguine personality has just arrived.
are a couple of Bible characters that come to mind when thinking about the
sanguine personality. This individual is the talker of the group, an impulsive
individual who wants attention and credit. The sanguine tends to be
inconsistent and changeable and still very convincing. Keep these qualities in
mind when you read the following verses pertaining to King David. Read 1 Samuel
17:22-40; 2 Samuel 11:2-4; 2 Samuel 12:1-23; 1 Samuel 18:6-7; 1 Kings 2:1-3.
sanguine character we will spend the most time discussing is the apostle Peter.
What recorded events in his life point to his personality traits? Read Matthew
14:28; 17:4 and John 18:10. Here we see his impulsive side. When Christ was
walking on the water who but Peter should ask to come walk on the water, too. At
Christ’s betrayal, Peter cut off an attacker’s ear and again it was Peter who
wanted to build three tabernacles at the transfiguration.
many sanguines, Peter was also selfish as well as inconsistent and changeable. After
following Christ and listening to his teachings, Peter asked what he would get
for leaving everything behind (Matthew 19:27). After all the time spent with
Christ, he was still thinking materially, of the here and now instead of what
was awaiting him in eternity. A clear understanding of Christ’s mission was not
yet in his mind. This wrong attitude was evident in his selfish question. Compare
Peter’s attitude in Matthew 16:22; John 13:8-9; 18:10 with his attitude in
Matthew 14:30; 26:69-75.
“Then Peter took
him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not
be unto thee” (Matthew 16:22).
“Peter saith unto him, Thou
shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no
part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:8-9).
“Then Simon Peter
having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his
right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus” (John 18:10).
“But when he saw the
wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord,
save me” (Matthew 14:30).
“Now Peter sat without in the
palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of
Galilee. But he denied before them
all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the
porch, another maid saw him, and said
unto them that were there, This fellow
was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not
know the man. And after a while came unto him
they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth
thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying,
I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the
word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me
thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:69-75).
Peter wanted to walk on the water with Christ, but once
he was out there, he became afraid and started to sink. He forgot to let Christ
be on his side, to look to the master for strength. One minute he refuses to
let Christ wash his feet, the next minute Peter says Christ can wash all of
him. John records that Peter rebuked Christ when he told of his coming betrayal
and death. When Christ needed a friend the most, the same man who was willing
to fight so Jesus would not be taken denied even knowing the Lord. Peter’s
attitude was very changeable and inconsistent. He was bold, arrogant and
demanding one minute. The next he was fearful and almost humble.
Like David, Peter allowed God to be an influence so he
could overcome his faults. On Pentecost, Peter’s sermon is the one recorded for
all generations to read (Acts 2). This man with all his sanguine
characteristics, both good and bad, became a great soul winner for Christ. Many
sanguines do not finish what they start. Peter did; he even suffered for it. Read
Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29, 40-42.
“But Peter and John
answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken
unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which
we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).
“Saying, Did not we straitly
command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled
Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
Then Peter and the other apostles
answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29).
“And to him they agreed: and
when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of
Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily
in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus
Christ” (Acts 5:40-42).
Peter spoke the truth for Christ and continued to do so
even when beaten and ordered by the Sanhedrin to stop preaching.
Do you see many of Peter’s character traits in yourself?
If so, you are possibly a sanguine as well. As we have seen, God can use
anyone’s strengths and weaknesses for his benefit. Here two possible sanguine men
served God faithfully. This is a lesson for all sanguines today. You can
overcome the weaknesses that hinder you. Like David and Peter, your life will
not be perfect. However, like these two, you can make a difference and serve
God to the best of your abilities.