- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (June 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933184027
- ISBN-13: 978-1933184029
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Temperament God Gave You: The Classic Key to Knowing Yourself, Getting Along with Others, and Growing Closer to the Lord Paperback – June 15, 2005
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From the Inside Flap
All of us are born with distinct personality traits. Some of us live for crowds and parties; others seek solitude and time for quiet reflection. Some of us are naturally pushy, while others are content just to get along. We don't pick and choose these traits; they're just part of the way we're made.
For in the womb God doesn't merely mold our body; He also gives us the temperament that, all our days, colors our understanding, guides our choices, and serves as the foundation of our moral and spiritual life.
Ancient philosophers identified four basic temperaments, and over the centuries, countless wise souls have used these four to understand human nature. Now comes The Temperament God Gave You, the first Catholic book on the subject in 70 years. Here veteran Catholic counselor Art Bennett and his wife Laraine provide an accessible synthesis of classical wisdom, modern counseling science, and Catholic spirituality: a rich understanding of the temperaments and what they mean for you and for your family.
Drawing on decades of study, prayer, and practical experience, Art and Laraine show you how to identify your own temperament and use it to become what God is calling you to be: a loving spouse, an effective parent, and a good friend. Best of all, they give you a Catholic understanding of the four temperaments that will bring you closer to God and help you discover the path to holiness that's right for you.
Peace. Happiness. Holiness.
You'll find yourself growing in each of these qualities as you come to understand -- and learn to use as you should the temperament God gave you.
About the Author
Art Bennett is a licensed marriage and family therapist with twenty years' experience in the field. He currently serves as president of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Arlington, and he writes a monthly column for the National Catholic Register. Art's wife, Laraine, is a freelance writer whose articles appear in Catholic journals.
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Top customer reviews
I brought this book with me, and though it did for me what I am usually looking for, I could not put it down. I could have stayed up and finished it that first night, and had to muster up some discipline to spread the reading out across the following days.
I found this fascinating! I have studied the four temperaments before. Many of us have, or have been familiar with them, and may not know it. The study of these dates back to Hippocrates (460-370 BC)--yes, ancient Greek physician who gave us the Oath--who believed we could trace some of our human moods, emotions and behaviors to certain four body fluids (labeled as "humors"). These were blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Hippocrates developed this into a medical theory. For close to 2,000 years they have gone by the names sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic, respectively.
This all still has meaning today. That's what this book is all about! And, it is, by far, the best I've read on the subject. It is informative, easy to understand; but, most of all, Art and Laraine Bennett have gone overboard in making it enjoyable! Believe me, the knowledge you find here about the four temperaments can make an incredible difference in your personal life, your marriage, family life and all of your relationships.
A brief summary of these can help you make the connection; although, Art and Laraine do a much more thorough and comprehensive description of these and provide real-life situations and historical personalities as examples. You might see yourself in one or two of these. You can briefly see each's strengths, quirks, needs, and virtues best for them to pursue. Knowing these things, and going over the rough spots in our relationships, Art and Laraine show us that things, we may have taken personal or as an offence, may not have any basis to it at all. These are things that are directly tied to the other person's temperament and part of the way that temperament behaves. There may be little will involved!
Cholerics are goal-oriented and highly determined. They need definite areas of control and loyalty from others. They can be bossy and driven; and, they benefit from growing in compassion and meekness. Melancholics have nobility of purpose and great attention to detail. They tend to be critical. They can live in hope and can trust in God. They prefer quiet, space and order. The phlegmatics are the peace-makers. They are harmonious colleagues. They are somewhat withdrawn. The have a certain boldness as disciples. Lastly, sanguines are joyful and generous. They can be flighty. They need excitement and enjoyment. They also need TLC. They can be indifferent to criticism. They can persevere.
Art and Laraine show us how to identify our primary and secondary temperaments. They also help us to see those of our spouse, children, friends, etc. They describe what the temperament combinations mean. They provide advice right down to our spiritual lives. Lastly, they add a little testing--Temperament Indicator--at the end for those who want to hone in more precisely on their temperament types.
Coming off of that retreat, where I first read this, I have recommended this numerous times and bought copies as gifts for families and friends. I think you will too!
I believe I have read all the available temperament resources, and this is the best. It treats every temperament evenly, and emphasizes that each is good. There are a lot of anecdotes, and it is full of practical advice for dealing with each temperament and with each combination in various relationship types. It is accessible enough for a high school student and rich enough for a PhD.
I also have the spouse version, which is a good addition to this one, but not as deep and not really necessary once you understand the basics. This is also better than, though very different from, The Emotions God Gave You.
A final note : as the name implies, the authors are Christian, and advice for prayer is sprinkled occasionally throughout before it gets its own chapter. But the concepts are not Christian intrinsically, and the book would still be very helpful, though occasionally irritating, if you set all such references aside.