Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.--This does not mean that God will protect us from hard work, for in Genesis, God ordained that man should live by the "sweat of his brow." This verse can be translated to read " Come unto me, all you who are exhausted and weighed down beneath your burden."
What causes a person in the human condition to become exhausted spiritually, physically and emotionally? Spiritually a person becomes exhausted when he spends a lifetime searching for God and trying to earn His love by following a long line of meaningless religious laws and rituals. He becomes spiritually weary when all of the efforts are exhausted. Still he finds no peace in his soul, no joy in his life and God is still a far away and unattainable Being. Physically a person becomes exhausted when he, through his own neglect, pushes himself far beyond his physical endurance or when internal stress depletes his energy reserves. Emotionally a person becomes exhausted because exhaustion is the by-product of a person doing all the right things and abiding by all the rules and yet, internal stress leaves him without any means to withstand the stress of his environment. Christ promised that we would receive rest from this exhaustion:
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.- The yoke Christ speaks of here is symbolic. In the life and time of Christ, His occupation was a carpenter, but the chief product of these craftsmen was not building homes, but fitting and making yokes for oxen. Yokes were made so the owner could steer the beast, but the yoke was also made so the animal could work longer and more efficiently by tiring less under his heavy burdens. These yokes had to be measured and fitted perfectly for each animal. Christ tells us in these verses that He also fits the yoke perfectly for us. The perfectly fitted yoke that Christ speaks about in these verses is the place that God has provided for each and every human that lives.
For my yoke is easy- This is very important that we understand. "Easy" does not mean requiring little or no sacrifice, but according to interpretation, the word Christ used was "chrestas" which means well-fitting. Therefore the proper translation is "For my yoke is well fitting." Well-fitting means the placement of the individual in the Kingdom of God must fit all areas of our life.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.-For the Christian to learn of Christ, he must have balance in his life. That can only be achieved when the person is in the position God intends him to be. For example, if a person spends all his time on emotional pursuits, they have no energy left for the spiritual side. If they overdevelop physically , they are denying the other parts and they will suffer imbalance in those areas. This stress caused by this imbalance will affect their spiritual pursuits.
This balance goes one step farther. There must be complete balance in the inner man. The soul and spirit must be in balance or the Christian cannot grow. If the heart is the binding and balancing agent between the soul and spirit, that there must be complete balance between inclusion, control and affection to keep the soul and spirit in balance.
When we accept the perfectly fitting yoke that Christ has provided for us, rest, peace and joy are the result. When we accept the perfectly fitting yoke that Christ has provided, the inner man finds balance and is provided with love, joy and peace.
For I am meek and lowly in heart.- This gives us some important information about Christ. Christ tells us throughout the New Testament that He came to serve. He gave the ultimate in service by dying on the cross and being resurrected for the forgiveness of our sins. These words tell us that Christ has the heart of a servant. Christ is the perfect servant and He can provide for all of our needs.
Physically information is provided to give us the information necessary to establish and maintain the best possible health for our bodies. Spiritually He provides us with the relationship with the Omnipotent Being that will give order and meaning to our lives and immortality. Emotionally Christ provides us with Inclusion(surface relationship and socialization), Control(power and control) and Affection(deep fulfilling personal relationship and love and affection).
Temperament Therapy then, is helping to find the yoke(our place) that God has designed for us. This place(His plan/calling for our life) can be identified for the most part by the temperament. Think of the Kingdom of God as a jigsaw puzzle. For the picture to be complete, each piece is fitted and placed in the exact spot where it is needed. Thus it is with the individual. Each person is tailor-made by God for a certain position in His Kingdom. Only when they are positioned in that position chosen by God for them, will they be happy and fulfilled. This takes a total surrendering of the individualís will to Godís will.
Conclusion- Man is a spiritual being created by God with a precise order and balance of body, soul and spirit. God also designed a place for each person in the schemata of His creation. For man to find his place in the scheme of the universe and Godís creation, he must understand his temperament. The spirit encompasses manís temperament and the heart in the binding, balancing and blending agent which overlaps the soul and the spirit--providing order within the man. If the soul and spirit are to remain in balance, the three temperament areas of inclusion, control and affection must be balanced. If the soul and spirit are out of balance, the physical man will break down. Learning and understanding our temperament is the mechanism to find balance between body, soul and spirit, allowing man to be the best that God created him to be.
Temperament is the inborn part of man that determines how he reacts to people, places and things.When we are conceived our unique temperament is placed within us by the order of God. At birth, we begin interacting with our environment and it interacts with us. Our temperament , altered by our environment forms our character.
Temperament is made up of three specific areas:
Inclusion-the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory, surface relationship with people through association and socialization. This includes parties, social gatherings and people who come in and out of our lives every day. The needs range from approaching many people for association(socializing, surface relationships) to approaching a select few.
Control-the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in respect to control and power. This need will determine who needs to maintain control and power in the interpersonal situation. This control need ranges from maintaining control over everyoneís behavior to maintaining control over no oneís behavior. This is the decision making process between people and is described in such terms as power, authority, dominance, influence, ruler, superior, leader,rebellion, resistance, follower, anarchy and submission. Control is the need for dominance within the interpersonal relationship. The perception of feeling competent is the need objective in the control area.
Affection-the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with others in regard to love and affection. This need ranges from showing love and affection to a great many people to showing love and affection to only a select few. Affection is unique within the temperament because it can only occur one person to one person, whereas in the areas of Inclusion and Control, a group of people can be combined to be associated with or controlled as one. The temperament need for intimacy can only be achieved by the close, personal, emotional feeling between two people. To become emotionally close to someone requires an element of confiding innermost desires, anxieties and feelings. The perception of feeling that "self" is lovable is the need the person is attempting to meet in this area.
The three need areas of the temperament can be measured mathematically and are scored in two different divisions.They are: E-expressive needs and R-responsive(or wanted) needs.
The expressive score measures to what degree a certain need "is shown" to other people. The need can be shown in a number of ways such as the way a person dresses, laughs, talks or by their body language. The responsive score measures to what degree a temperament need is "actually wanted" in our lives. The numbers in both the expressive and responsive areas range from 0 to 9. In all temperament needs there is a direct correlation between the amount of the need we show and the number used to score it. Simply put, the higher the number, the higher the temperament need, the lower the number, the lower the temperament need.
The Firo-B questionnaire measures the expressive and responsive scores in all three areas of temperament needs. The environment can have a direct effect on the expressive and responsive needs by compacting them or intensifying them.
Man was originally created perfect, but with the fall of Adam every human as been born imperfect. We have spiritual and physical imperfections and temperament weaknesses. In each temperament and within each temperament need area, there are perfections(strengths) and imperfections(weaknesses/needs). The perfection factors are those parts that give us the ability to achieve great things. Man uses his temperament strengths for his own purposes and accomplishes great things, however, when he surrenders his rights to the Lord, then God uses his temperament strengths for Kingdom purposes. The temperament imperfection(weakness) is that part of man we like to refer to as one of our "crosses to bear". These weaknesses cause us to do the things we detest in others. However, these same weaknesses also gives us the ability to gain a greater dependency on God and to show others His Glory and Power. These weaknesses cannot be controlled or brought under Godís control unless we seek and accept Godís help every day. Through our freedom of choice/will, we have the ability to sink to our weaknesses or rise to our strengths.( Read II Cor. 12:1-10)
Temperament Therapy by Dr. Richard Arno, Ph.D. copy. 1994