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Phlegmatic / Melancholy

The PhlegMel

          The PhlegMel is the kindest, gentlest, and calmest of all the temperament blends.  He is rarely angry or hostile and hardly ever says anything to apologize for (because he rarely says anything).  He never embarrasses himself or others.  He always does the right thing, dresses simple, and is reliably accurate.  He is orderly and organized in his work habits and tends to have the spiritual gifts of mercy and help.  Like any phlegmatic, he is useful around the house and, if energy permits, he will keep your home in good repair.  If your wife recognizes your tendencies towards passivity (but tactfully expects you to take the initiative in your home), you will have a good family life and marriage.  However, if your reluctance to lead and be aggressive annoys you, you can be dissatisfied and encourage marital conflict.  PhlegMel's typically neglect the training necessary to properly prepare your children to be productive and self-disciplined in life. This will "provoke your children to anger" as much as the angry tyrant whose irrational and controlling approach makes their children resentful.

          Negativism, criticism, selfishness, fear, and lack of self-image are the most significant weaknesses.  The PhlegMel can become an effective person, spouse and parent once they realize that only fears and negative feelings about themselves prevent success.  Most PhlegMels are so afraid of overreaching or getting too involved that they almost automatically reject any affiliation.

          The trap of the PhlegMel is you’ve probably never seen a PhlegMel too involved in anything except to avoid getting too involved.  You should recognize that since you are not internally motivated, you should accept more responsibility than you think you can fulfill.  External stimulation will motivate you to higher achievement.  All phlegmatics work well under pressure, but that pressure must come from the outside.  Your most significant source of motivation, of course, will be the power of the Holy Spirit.

          Barnabas, the guy that accompanied the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey, was probably a PhlegMel.  He was the man who gave half of his assets to the early church to feed the poor.  Barnabas talked Paul out of providing John Mark (his nephew) with an opportunity to serve God by joining them on another missionary voyage.  The dispute did, however, became so acute that Barnabas took his nephew and they set out on their own.  Paul later praised Mark, saying, "It is profitable to me for the ministry" (2 Tim. 4:11).  We have the Gospel of Mark because the faithful, dedicated, and gentle Barnabas was willing to help Mark in a difficult moment of his life.  PhlegMels respond to others' needs by merely letting go of the flow of living and working with people where they are.