Our Inborn Temperament Influences How We Respond To The Challenges Of Life


God’s word in the Psalms speaks to how He fearfully and wonderfully knit together in our mother’s womb each one of us was.  We have no difficulty grasping the idea that every person has a unique fingerprint.  Or how we have a one-of-a-kind appearance.  No two of us are identical – even identical twins.But when it comes to how each of us is designed on the inside – our soul – it’s much more problematic to describe, let alone comprehend, the unique, inborn nature within each of us.  

Early Psychology Saw Every Person As A Blank Slate

For decades, the teachings of psychologist Sigmund Freud dominated our understanding of the human design.  Freud and others referred to this by the Latin words, “tabula rasa”, which meant blank slate.  It was believed that each human being was prenatally formed void of any inborn rules for processing information or making choices.  The individual’s identity came into existence after birth and only as information was gained through life experiences.

This philosophy was at the center of the “nature versus nurture” conversation of the 20th century.  Whether human beings are provided with a unique, inborn nature… or if we are all born exactly the same.  Although elusive to some, the Christian faith is able to provide us absolute clarity on the answer to this question.

Temperament Is Vastly Different Than Personality

In today’s landscape of science, philosophy, and spirituality, there are myriad instruments developed for the express purpose of helping an individual learn more about themselves:  DISC, Myers-Briggs, MMPI, Strength Finders, just to name a few – and the current favorite, the Enneagram.  Each of these is very effective in capturing the traits of an individual’s personality, with thousands ascribing to each.  In selecting a team, or hiring a staff member, or placing individuals into their most productive roles, every one of these personality profiles is able to provide clear and accurate guidance.

In the early 1980’s, Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno, while doing doctoral seminary studies to become Christian Counselors, discovered that the counseling world was void of a profiling instrument that provided results that were not merely personality indicators, but rather markers of the individual’s unique, inborn temperament.  And further, Drs. Arno’s extensive search for a testing method that was capable of capturing how a person’s identity is formulated relative to the principles and virtues revealed in the Bible came up empty as well.  Their motivation was to possess a tool capable of gathering data to help each individual client uniquely discover greater personal wholeness in their life (soul), as opposed to finding direction in what functions that individual might most effectively fill within a system (e.g. family, team, workplace).

So, as a result of years of research, thousands of clinical trials in actual counseling sessions, and extensive data collection, the Arno Profile System (APS) was created.  

Three key characteristics set the APS apart from all other known profiling instruments:  1) Capable of identifying the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of an individual’s inborn temperament, as opposed to their personality traits demonstrated in relationships with others, 2) Analyzes human characteristics through the character of Jesus Christ and the core human values found in scripture, and 3) Reveals the long-elusive fifth temperament, the Supine – an individual who perceives themselves as less valuable, cares more for the needs of others than their own, and has a naturally gentle spirit.

You’ve Found An Expert Who Can Help You Better Understand Yourself

My education and training to become a Christian Counselor were provided through the National Christian Counselors Association as part of the doctoral curriculum at Colorado Theological Seminary.  Fundamentally, as an NCCA credentialed counselor, I utilize the APS as the cornerstone for understanding and guiding every client I serve in my counseling practice.  

This extensive training has allowed me to understand how an individual’s God-given, inborn temperament can allow the individual to either glorify God and benefit their relationships, or it can lead to the individual battling the imperfections of their inborn temperament, creating stress and conflict both within themselves as well as in their human relationships.

The pinnacle of my counseling education was the completion of a 72-credit hour PhD degree and dissertation in Clinical Christian Counseling.  No, not Clinical Counseling in the sense of having expertise in mental health and psychology.  None of that.  But, Clinical Counseling in terms of an advanced knowledge and skill set in how to foster health and wholeness within a person’s soul (mind, will, and emotions).  

I guide each client in discovering the unmet needs within their unique temperament, accurately identifying the origins of these stressors, and integrating how those have led them to the issues they are presently experiencing – issues such as lack of intimacy from having been abandoned, toxic shame from having been molested, living in the rejection of having been cheated on, daily self-condemnation from having fallen short, or struggling with anxiety and depression during a world-wide COVID-19 pandemic.

Then most importantly, I provide individualized methods, Christ-centered teachings, and healing experiences to aid the client in discovering their inborn temperament strengths, accepting their unique identity in Christ, and finding lasting freedom from the fear, pain, and shame in their life.

Let Me Help You Find Peace In The Midst Of An Epidemic Of Anxiety

This is the first in a series of blog postings I’ll be writing to help you uniquely move beyond the stress you’re currently experiencing.  Each posting will focus on the traits specific to each temperament type that illustrate how that person might respond to the pandemic of 2020.  And I’ll also provide meaningful, faith-based strategies as to how a person with that unique temperament can move beyond their fears and discover the peace and joy they’re searching for.


Soul health and spiritual maturity cannot be separated.  Our counselors are ordained Christian ministers as well as certified and licensed Christian counselors.  We are able to help you experience freedom from shame, anxiety, depression, or marriage / relationship conflict with methods that are purely Christ-centered.  Please click on this link to learn much more about how our CHRISTIAN COUNSELING an help you become a more authentic follower of Christ, and help you find freedom from identity dependence.

Life Training offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime.  Our non-profit counseling practice has an outstanding track record for over a decade helping men and women, individuals and couples who are ready to move beyond anxiety, depression, and conflicts in marriage or other relationships find hope and healing in their lives.  Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at drdave@lifetrainingcounseling.org

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