Nothing releases pent up hostility like a good fight. For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed and benefited from a good fight. This may sound a little strange for the peace-loving among you, but bear with me while I make my point. When I say a good fight, I don’t mean one that involves lots of yelling or any physicality. I mean one that has good results – one that yields fruit.
I have long held that conflict is a good thing. As an outspoken (and admittedly sometimes indelicate) woman, I often get my way. In my mind, this is a good thing. I enjoy getting my way. From God’s perspective, however, getting my way is not always good for me or for others. So into my life he often allows someone, something, or some situation to oppose me. Conflict is the inevitable result.
Possessing what has been repeatedly described to me as a choleric or Type “A” personality, I walk confidently in many areas of my life. Cholerics are often natural-born leaders, teachers, speakers, and motivators, who tend to be reasonably outgoing. If a duty or a hobby involves talking, standing up front, or telling people what to do, cholerics volunteer in droves, or at least seldom protest when drafted. On the other hand, if patience, good listening skills, tact, and gentleness are what’s required, keep pushin.’ Cholerics can be the last folks you want to engage. Do you see the problem here? Cholerics naturally possess all the skills that get them placed in positions of leadership, but they lack many of the skills to nurture those they are chosen to lead.
You would think that lacking a skill might prevent a type “A” from exercising said skill, or prompt that person to seek to help developing it. You would be wrong. The negative side of genuine self-confidence (which cholerics possess in abundance) is that the confident person assumes self is capable even when self is woefully deficient. Cholerics forge ahead just as self-assured in areas in which they excel as they do in areas in which they fail. The problem is that they can be so convinced of their greatness, that they overlook the fact that no one is pleased but themselves. For example, from a choleric’s point of view, a meeting during which she dominated the conversation, garnered every vote, and slayed every opponent, was a good meeting – even if everyone in the room couldn’t wait for her to leave. The same is true of marriages.
My husband and I have had the privilege of sharing life with many couples in the Body. Sometimes after talking to one spouse then to the other, I have wondered if the two were in the same marriage. One spouse is utterly miserable, while the other believes the marriage “has never been better.” Guess which one is almost always the choleric? Yeah. Uh huh.
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