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Chip KirkA two-part seminar on Temperament was taught by Chip Kirk at the GO Conference in January. Here are a few of my notes.

How well do we work together? Our success in life is dependent on Jesus working in us, and on how well we work with others. In order to effectively work with others, we need to understand ourselves and our temperaments. Not to use temperament as an excuse, saying that’s just the way I am – but considering others as more important than ourselves. (Eph. 4)

Here’s a little story as an illustration:

There once was a school of animals, and all of them had to pass a physical education class in order to graduate. Exam time came and all the animals had to demonstrate proficiency in various activities, like swimming and running, climbing and flying.

The duck went first. Well, the duck turned out to be a very good swimmer, but he was a poor runner.

The rabbit proved to be a good runner, but he was a very bad swimmer.

The squirrel was an excellent climber but a poor flyer.

The eagle was a great flyer, but he cheated at climbing – he wanted to get there his way.

What to do? They were all going to flunk phys ed! They all needed remedial help!

So, the duck had to spend all his free time practicing running. Eventually he improved in running, but his swimming degenerated.

The rabbit nearly drowned several times before he finally got the hang of swimming. Swimming took all his energy, of course, so he could no longer run worth two cents.

The squirrel discovered that he could fly if he climbed the tallest tree and jumped off, but he couldn’t go far and he couldn’t go up, only down.

The eagle kept losing points off his grade – he simply couldn’t resist the temptation to flap his wings a bit while climbing.

All of them finally passed physical education but none of them ever excelled in anything again, they spent too much time and energy trying to become something they weren’t.

The moral of this story? Focus on your strengths!

Everyone is a combination of temperaments, no-one is 100% one or the other. But everyone is stronger in one area than another and should concentrate on becoming the best they can be, at whatever area that is.

Pretty good advice.