Pastor: Wisdom Trumps Temperament

Wisdom trumps temperament. Always. It’s true we all tend to be wired up differently, but we shouldn’t be resigned to that. Temperament is simply the default setting for those who lack wisdom.

Think about it: What was Jesus’ temperament? Was he meek and mild? Or did he flip over a few tables? Was he sometimes silent in the face of criticism? Or did he sometimes fight back and call the Pharisees a “brood of vipers”?

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Jesus did all of those things. So I’ll ask again: What was his temperament?

The answer is Jesus didn’t have a temperament. Instead he had, and was, Wisdom.

Being wise trumps temperament.

Proverbs 27:5-6 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love, faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

The wise considers the source to understand the criticism and what to do with it. The wise can be corrected without being crushed.

Temperament is not an excuse for being unwise in your responses to criticism. It’s not OK to lash out at people because you have a self-proclaimed fiery nature. It’s true that we all have certain natural tendencies, but wisdom should override these.

If we take Jesus’ example, we can see that the wise response to criticism varies. Sometimes it’s important to be silent in the face of criticism. Sometimes it’s necessary to get fired up. It depends on the source and the situation, and can only rightly be decided through wisdom, not temperament.

Think about people you’ve known who respond well to criticism. Did they always respond the same way? Or did they act the right way depending on the situation? I’d love to hear about them. 

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Lead Pastor of the Maryville Vineyard, a growing church filled with incredible people in East Tennessee. He and his wife Sharon have two amazing children.

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