Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 4 Page 11 April 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles
Priscilla's Page

So Much To Talk
About, So Little Time


By Rebecca Rushmore


A 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.


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.”


There 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 forgetful.


The 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.


There 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.


The 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.


Like 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.

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Louis Rushmore, Editor
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