Temperament is our manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting in response to the people in our environment, the world around us and even our relationship with God. Our temperament is God given from our conception and will remain with us throughout our lives. What is the difference between temperament and personality? “Temperament refers to a set of innate or inborn traits that organize an individual’s approach to the world, while personality is what arises within the individual. Personality is acquired on top of the temperament. Temperament can be viewed as an artist’s canvas while personality can be viewed as the painting on the canvas.” 
Our Temperament influences many aspects of ourselves including our perception of ourselves, how we handle stress; our social inclinations, introversion vs. extroversion; affection needs; intellectual propensities; motivation and drive; being a leader or a follower; and our emotional vulnerability-inclination towards experiencing anxiety and/or depression.
While our temperament is innate and not learned, there are several factors affecting the expression of our temperament; namely, our early childhood history, environment, education, counseling, the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and our free-will choice. Sometimes a person chooses behavior that is very different from their inborn temperament, creating a mask; blocking the expression of his or her true temperament. This unknowingly creates an imbalance, resulting in a person being internally conflicted. It is important for us to understand our unique temperament, as each temperament has strengths, weaknesses and needs; that if go unmet, cause us increased and undue stress; affecting our overall sense of emotional, relational and spiritual well-bing.  Our temperament strengths enables us to do great things; our temperament weakness are areas of unmet temperament needs. Man is given free-will to chose whether he will ascend to his temperament strengths or descend into his temperament weaknesses. 
Historical Overview of Temperament
The historical background for the study of man’s temperament spans 2,400 years back to the early Greek historian Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.). Not having the modern scientific tools we have today, Hippocrates based his understanding of man’s temperament on his observations of man’s behavior, which he believed was governed by the color of bile within the body; call humors. He divided theses humors into four classifications: Blood (Sanguine), black bile (Melancholy), yellow bile (Choleric), and phlegm (Phlegmatic). While his theory has been scientifically proven unsound, he did pave way for many others to study man’s temperament using Hippocrates four typology.
Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), a famous Russian Psychologist, is best known for his conditioning experiments with dogs. He also observed the behavioral excitatory and inhibitory responses of mental patients and divided the patients into the same four typology as Hippocrates. He believed the Choleric and Melancholy were the two extreme types and Sanguine and Phlegmatic were the two equalizing types.
Psychologist Alfred Adler in 1927 was the first to identify the functioning of the four temperaments as: Sanguine; the healthiest, not being subject to feelings of inferiority, were happiest and had the most friendly disposition. Choleric; aggressive and intense, expending great energy, striving to be on top. Melancholy; worried, and introverted. And the Phlegmatic; lost contact with life, not being impressed by anything, sluggish and depressed.
Hans J. Eysenck (1916-1997) a well known German Psychologist is considered the modern contributor to the theory of temperament. He used the psychostatistical method in his research to analyze the same four temperaments, which led him to believe that temperament is biologically based.
Today, Tim LaHaye; an author, educator, minister and counselor has written four books dealing with the topic of temperament and its relationship to human behavior. And while his work is not written in a scientific format, his research confirms what other Christian professionals believe; understanding temperament is necessary to understanding man. 
Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno, the founders of the National Christian Counselors Association, in 1983 conducted research to develop an accurate, clinical testing procedure to identify a counselee’s inborn, God-given tendencies/temperament. This was based on their work with 5,0000 individuals seeking counseling for depression, inter/intra-personal conflict, marriage and family dysfunction, and anxiety. They used the FIRO-B, (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Behavior) which was developed by Dr. Will Schutz, a statistically based method for accurately extracting personality characteristics using a 54 question inventory, as their initial measuring questionnaire. After working with the FIRO-B for years, Dr. Arno discovered a fifth temperament; Supine. The Arnos named their analysis procedure the Temperament Analysis Profile (T.A.P.) and in honor of their work, was re-titled in 2000, to the Arno Profile System (A.P.S.). The Arno Profile System measures a person’s inborn, God-given temperament, not a person’s behavior. An individual’s temperament and behavior can be quite different. Problems that would normally take a counselor eight sessions to identify, can be revealed using the A.P.S., with and accuracy rate of over 90% in identifying an individual’s, God-given temperament. Over 4,000 Christian counseling professionals utilize the A.P.S. in their counseling ministries. 
The Five Temperaments
There are five temperament types; Melancholy, Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Supine. Within each temperament lies three areas of needs; inclusion, control and affection. Inclusion is the need to establish and maintain satisfactory surface relationships with people, who come in and out of our lives throughout the day; it does not involve strong emotional attachments. It includes whether we relate better to people or to tasks, intellectual energies and impulsivity. The need we are attempting to get met in the area of inclusion is a sense of being significant and worthwhile. Control is the decision-making process in relationships; determines who leads and who follows. It also indicates how well we carry out responsibilities, dependence and independence, how strong our will is and how well we make decisions. The need we are trying to get met in the area of control is a sense of being competent. Affection is the need to establish and maintain satisfactory relationships in the area of love and affection; involving strong emotional attachments. It indicates how emotionally opened or closed we are and the depth of sharing our feelings with another. The need we are trying to get met in the area of affection is a sense of being lovable. The temperament needs in the area of affection cannot be fully met outside of an intimate relationship with God. Man chooses out of his free-will, whether to love God and receive Hs love. 
The prevalence of an individual having a pure temperament in all three areas of inclusion, control and affection is rare. Most individuals are a blend of temperaments in each of the three areas. For example, one person can be Melancholy in the area of inclusion and control, and Sanguine in affection; or a blend of two temperaments for each area. Another person can be Phlegmatic in the area of inclusion, Choleric in control and Sanguine in affection; or a blend to two temperaments for each area. As you can see, this can lead to thousands of possible combinations; accounting for people being highly complex and unique in their temperament makeup. The following is a brief overview of each of the five pure temperament types. In order to have a greater understanding of the unique temperament blend, it will be important to keep in mind, to blend both descriptions of each temperament contributing to the temperament blend. For example, someone who is Melancholy in inclusion but Sanguine in affection will be more social than a pure Melancholy; therefore, when reading about the Melancholy temperament, you will need to take into account the characteristics of the Sanguine in affection, in order to fully understand this temperament blend.
In Inclusion: They loners, introverted and unsure of themselves; but on the surface, appear competent, in control, even arrogant or aloof at times. They can be friendly and personable in circumstances where they feel accepted. They can tend toward becoming depressed, anxious, fearful and moody. They can be stubborn and once they make their mind up, it is difficult to change it. They are creative, great thinkers, have a love of learning and great thirst for knowledge, perfectionist, fear being wrong and making mistakes, set high standards for themselves and others. They tend to be task oriented not relationship oriented. They are easily offended and hurt and react in anger and hold onto grudges. They need time alone to recharge. They need order and stability in the home. 
In Control: They make good leaders, good decision making and can take on a high level of responsibility in familiar areas; but in unknown areas, they will procrastinate, become angry and rebel. They are highly independent and strong-willed, not welcoming interference from others in their lives. They have a need to appear in control to mask either real or imagined inadequacies. They fear making mistakes or being discovered as being inadequate and will become angry. They can be rigid, sensitive to failure, fear the unknown, inflexible and procrastinate. 
In Affection: They express little love or affection and are more task oriented. They approach few people for deep emotional relationships, when they do, it may be only one or two others in their lives. They are emotionally guarded, they do not like to show their feelings. They do not show love; therefore, they do not receive love, causing them to be extremely lonely. On the surface they may appear cold and distant but are hiding a sensitive heart with the capacity to empathize with the pain in others. They are faithful, loyal and self-sacrificing. 
Spiritually: This temperament fits best to serve in positions of teaching and counseling others in the church. Relationship with God: They yearn for a deep personal relationship with Jesus. God must meet the standards of being reliable, orderly, dependable, accept them as they are, before they will relate to Him. They tend to intellectualize their relationship with God. If they believe God forces them to submit by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior, they will rebel. If they believe God understands and gives them free-will choice to be independent and in control of their life, then they will let God in. Ways to grow in God:Forgive themselves and others of wrongs done; practice gratitude for all that God has done and has given them; believe they are worthy to receive God’s unconditional love; learn to trust God to unlock their potential and follow Him into unknown areas; give others and themselves the grace and permission to not be perfect; and make their focus on pleasing God, not man. 
In Inclusion: Socially, they are extroverted; highly selective, charming, personable, friendly, optimistic and well-liked but control the social scene by dominating conversations. Beneath the surface, they do not like people, can easily use them and walk over people, seeing them as tools to meet their goals. They are driven to receive recognition for their accomplishments. They have one of the worst problems with anger which can be cruel and abusive. They have a good mind, fast-paced, envisioning new projects and undertaking projects quickly and efficiently. They are perfectionistic and persevere through to the end. 
In Control: They have excellent leadership abilities and can take on high levels of responsibilities and make good decisions. They are the most organized and disciplined of the temperaments. They want to do things their way and do not trust others to do a good job; they take on too much and tend to become burned out. They surround themselves with weak-willed people whom they can dominate. 
In Affection: They are bright, optimistic and affectionate who appear to be a Sanguine but instead of wanting deep relationships, they will turn their back and walk away. They have the capacity to show love and affection but only want relationship if it is on their own terms. They are self-centered and driven by the need to get their desires met while ignoring the needs and feelings of others. 
Spiritually: This temperament is best for serving in starting new ministries, church planting, or evangelist of a large-international ministry; encouraging others to do the same. Relationship with God: Because of this temperament’s self-reliance and confidence, if they are not raised in the church and connect with God as a child, they will not be interested in having relationship with Him because they cannot dominate Him. But through the process of humbling and breaking, God can use this temperament to do exploits for His Kingdom. Ways to grow in God: Humility and submission to God will unlock their potential; forgive old hurts; deal with anger in constructive ways; recognize the feelings and rights of others; practice seeing others through the eyes of Christ; focus on their behavior being pleasing to God and ask for the fruit of the Spirt to be manifest in their lives. 
In Inclusion: They are very social and the center of attention at parties. They bring inspiration and enthusiasm. They are easy to be around. Rarely found alone; if they have to be alone, they will be on the phone or social media to stay connected with others. They will experience stress if they have to spend time alone. They believe life should be a fun-filled experience. They live at a fast pace and inactivity causes them stress. They are most impulsive and will spend money without thinking about it so they can have fun, they will also renege on their responsibilities in order to socialize. They are geared toward communication-oriented careers and become bored with doing tasks. They are least disciplined and organized. They will take on the morals of the crowd they are with in order to be accepted. Relationally they are warm, compassionate and care about people’s feelings but can also become rude and walk away in the middle of a conversation if they get bored, moving on to more interesting conversation where they are the center of attention. They can tend to be highly emotional and theatrical in trying to gain attention and approval from others and if this is withheld from them, their behavior can escalate into throwing tantrums, pouting or crying. 
In Control: A pure Sanguine in control is rare and predominantly male. They have a tendency to emotionally swing from being independent/domineering one day then sift and become dependent, weak-willed, irresponsible and self-indulging. The swing is due to the lack of attention and recognition they crave. Descending into the dependent, destructive mode, will cause them to feel negative about themselves; guilty, worthless and selfish. But these feelings eventually cause them to turn around and swing back into their independent, serving, fun-loving person people love. They also have a safety valve which prevents them from becoming burned-out. 
In Affection: They are the most loving; giving and receiving of much attention and affection. They have a strong need to develop deep, loving relationships and do not care about things. They will open up and share their deep thoughts and feelings. They hunger to be touched and told they are loved on a daily basis. 
Spiritually: This temperament fits best serving as the leader in the men’s or women’s ministry; organizing social events. Relationship with God: They need to see God as stabilizing, serious and willing to give attention, acceptance and love in order for them to relate to God. They need for God to accept and allow their self-indulgence during their swing mode, as long as it is not sinful; if not, they will not relate to God. The threat of any future punishment is too far in the future to affect them today. Ways to grow in God: Learn to become secure in God’s love; become aware of the effects of their words; learn to deal with their anger constructively; learn ways to be self-indulgent that pleases God; maintain God’s standards for morality when in a crowd; and practice interacting with God when not in the presence of others to lessen anxiety. 
In Inclusion: Socially they do not have a need to interact with others much. When they do, they are friendly, calm, well-rounded and easy going; nothing ruffles their feathers. They have a dry and wry sense of humor. They can be either task-oriented or relationship oriented depending on the situation and tend to choose to be uninvolved. They have a great capacity requiring precision and accuracy in their work. They are efficient and perfectionistic. They are slow-paced and lack energy, requiring frequent rest periods throughout the day and they will take naps to rejuvenate themselves. They can tend to be an observer rather than a participant. 
In Control: They can be difficult to motivate, indecisive due to procrastination, and equally motivated by punishment and reward. They are the most emotionally stable of the temperaments and do not struggle with depression or anxiety. They are stubborn and resistant to change; due to their lack of energy, they will take the path of least resistance, which is to remain the same. They like to keep the peace and are good negotiators. They are practical and conservative. 
In Affection: They are the most stable relationally. They have a moderate need for love and affection. Since they have no fear of rejection, they can handle hostile or unaffectionate people. They hate conflict and just want to keep the peace. Partners of Phlegmatics can become lonely as they do not extend too much energy on forming deep relationships. They tend to be unemotional and unexpressive; will not open up and reveal their deeper selves, emotionally, relationally or spiritually. 
Spiritually: This temperament fits best serving as the church accountant, book keeper, or secretary. Relationship with God: Being an observer, they may tend to allow relationship with God to pass them by; do not acknowledge God in their lives; and they will be aware that God wants to bring change in their lives but are stubborn and resistant as it will take too much energy they do not have. Ways to grow in God: Learn to interact with God, submission will lessen stubbornness and unlock their potential; inspire themselves to do something about the injustices they see around them; learn to inspire themselves to be more open and loving with God; learn to make decisions according to God’s will and look for Him to defend them; and learning by expending energy on their relationship with God will help them reach maturity in God. 
In Inclusion: They are considered a bowing temperament; seeing others as being more important, and see themselves as serving those they admire. They have indirect behavior relationally, they expect others to read their minds; as a result, no one knows their needs. They are relationally oriented and have a high need for love and approval. They are a unique temperament unlike the others, in that they express themselves as an introvert but respond as an extrovert. They stand in the background, distant in social situations and wait to be approached by others. Because they do not assert themselves, they become frustrated and angry when they are not invited; they will not acknowledge their anger and instead, say they were hurt. They can undertake tasks well, especially for the sake of developing friendships. They can be too accommodating at their expense, leading them to feel like victims. They fear rejection. 
In Control: They are indecisive, cannot make independent decisions and refuse responsibilities; if forced, they become anxious. They like to partake in the decision making of others and will become angry if their opinion is not sought. This temperament harbors the greatest anger and resentment. They feel inadequate, insecure and always looking for someone to take care of them but will turn on those who dominate them. They are rule followers and good at enforcing it. They are motivated by the fear of punishment. They are loyal and dependable. 
In Affection: They need a great deal of love and affection from others, but because of their indirect behavior, they appear not to want deeper connection, and become frustrated and hurt for the lack of deep connections in their life. They have the capacity to open themselves, revealing their emotions when they feel safe to do so. They are loyal and able to make commitments. 
Spiritually: This temperament fits best serving in child care, meals ministry, visiting the sick and prayer ministry. Relationship with God: They have the potential to have a very strong relationship with God; focusing on the fact that, He first loved us, gives them the security and assurance to deepen their relationship with Him. Unable to make decisions on their own, they need to learn how to go to God for answers. They are able to freely receive God’s love, peace and joy. They will become angry if God does not give them the recognition they are looking for and pull away from their relationship with God. Ways to grow in God: Learn that God may not give them the recognition they are looking for in this life but in the next; encourage a way for them to increase their self-esteem to reduce fear of rejection from man; learn to deal with anger constructively; learn to go to God to help them with decision making; and spend time with God, receiving His love and affection for them. 
Maintaining proper balance of our temperament requires us to meet the needs in each of our three emotional needs; inclusion, control and affection. Neglecting to meet our needs in even one area, will cause us to become imbalanced; disrupting our sense of well-being, causing us to suffer. It will be important for us to learn what our needs are in each of the three areas and exercise our temperament strengths to get our needs met. It will be helpful for us to find healthy, positive, godly means of getting our needs met through relationship with God and others and avoid meeting our legitimate needs in ungodly, illegitimate and sinful means. The former is life-giving bringing our temperament into harmony; the latter, keeps us in a state of temperament imbalance. 
If you are interested in finding out your temperament blend, you can have me administer the A.P.S., for an additional fee and go over your results with you. If you are interested, I can help you understand your unique blend of temperament traits; strengths and weaknesses; and help you find ways to get your temperament needs met. You are worth investing the time and money, in order to learn how to bring your temperament into harmony; emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
Arno, R. Ph.D. & Arno, P. Ph.D. (1993) Creation Therapy: A Biblically Based Model For Christian Counseling Sarasota, Fl. Publisher: Sarasota Academy of Christian Psychology.