Be Patient With Even-Tempered, Status-Quo People

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Last week I introduced the Even-tempered, Status Quo-oriented (E/SO) personality. Each week we have been introducing one of four personality types.

The first week of each personality type we look at how to understand the personality type and then give some counsel to those with the personality type discussed. The second week we look at a biblical character that seems to exemplify that personality type and see how God loves that individual perfectly.  This, in turn, gives us some insight in how best to love each personality type like God does.

So this week, we are going to look at a biblical character that models E/SO characteristics.  Then we will offer some insights on how best to love this personality type. (Full disclosure:  I am an E/SO <grin>)

Here is a quick reminder from last week regarding the traits of an E/SO.  E/SO’s don’t experience, nor express, deep emotion often.  They don’t like change.  They admire and exhibit steadiness and loyalty, especially to family.  They are thinkers and observers who don’t like conflict.

For some reason, last week’s column left off a very important statement to E/SO’s so let me repeat it here: “God has given you an amazing ability to loyally and steadily follow through with tasks and provide stable, cool-headed environments.  Make sure that loyalty is ultimately focused upon God and not others and God will do accomplish great things through you and your faith in Him!”

This week we will look to Abraham, who seems to exhibit the qualities of an E/SO.  God told Abraham to make a big change, which he didn’t like.  God also told Abraham to leave his family, which he didn’t like.

God told Abraham in the book of Genesis to leave his family and his home and go to a strange land that God would show him.  The book of Acts explains it this way, “The God of glory…said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’”

This is huge!  Abraham decided to “half-obey” (which is full disobedience and what many E/SO’s fall into).  Abraham picked up and moved, but he said, “OK, family, pack up and go with me.”

However, God was patient towards Abraham.  In fact, he gave him another chance.  On the way to the land God was showing him (Canaan or the Promised Land), Abraham’s father, Terah (who was one of the family members Abraham took with him), died.  So God patiently restated his command now that Abraham was the patriarch of the family.  He was supposed to leave his family and go to the land God was showing him.

Genesis 12 explains how well Abraham obeyed: “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.”

From here on out Abraham had strife and turmoil, which are great fears of an E/SO person.  You can read about how Abraham lied about his wife to avoid conflict while they travelled.  You can read about the turmoil between him and his nephew, Lot, and how an E/SO deals with that kind of division.  You can read about the strife between his two boys that has led to the conflict we see today between Jews and Arabs.

Yet all along, God talked to Abraham with firm but gentle tones it appears (at least in the wording).  He was patient, oh so very patient, with Abraham.  He reinforced Abraham and gave him an opportunity to demonstrate his loyalty to God.

So what are ways that we can love the E/SO person?

Be patient with an E/SO.  Allow time to process if you want there to be change.

Remember to make allowances for family.  If you acknowledge and encourage an E/SO’s affection for family and provide sincere compliments and appreciation, you will gain a loyal and dependable follower.

Use friendly tones and provide a lot of reassurances…about relationships, about job performance, about how the E/SO’s actions have affected you positively.  Only make sure these assurances are sincere!

In order to get things done through an E/SO, provide clear expectations and a friendly, relaxed environment.  Give deadlines but make them reasonable if you want the job done well.

Even though sometimes an E/SO needs some nudging to move, confrontation is not going to produce many results.  Address concerns with friendly tones and sincerity.

E/SO’s are not comfortable with sharing their feelings.  You may have to ask several times how an E/SO is feeling or what is wrong (enduring a lot of “Nothing” answers) in order to pull out a substantial answer.

An E/SO’s loyalty and steadfastness are the traits of incredible unwavering faith.  When this faith is focused upon God, an E/SO is an example to us all.  God will use an E/SO to keep us staying the course.
Scot Wall is pastor of Magnolia Bible Church and the new Texas State Capitol Minister with Capitol Commission. Send comments to ConsiderThis@magnoliabible.org.

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