Spiritual Personalities, Part 2 – Choleric

Some people are hard core in everything they do. If you or anyone you know leans toward intensity this post is for you, because next  on the topic of spiritual personalities is the fiery choleric.

Heart of Flames

Choleric people make the world go round. Things get done because God put this personality on earth. They are mission-minded and intense. They are quick thinkers, decisive, and rarely let a good challenge get away. Like the outgoing sanguine, choleric people fall in the extrovert category, but instead of enjoying the social/fun aspect of people, they are more comfortable leading a group. Not only are they intensely loyal, but they expect loyalty from those around them.

A Bible verse that the choleric relates to is 1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me”(NIV). are the workers and when a choleric can share credit with God, that is a huge step.

View of God

For many choleric personalities it isn’t unusual for them to see God as someone to fight for control. Due to their “can do, will do” approach to life it is hard for a choleric to submit and let someone ELSE do it . . . especially a Being that they cannot see or touch. Choleric people have a hard enough time relinquishing control to people they can interact with in this world!

My oldest son is choleric, and he struggles just as I would expect for his personality. Several summers ago he posed this question:  “If I get serious about God will I have to give up things?” My answer was “yes”, but I also told him that as we grow in Christ we WANT to give things up. I also told him that God doesn’t expect perfection on the first day of one’s journey. Submitting to anyone (especially God) is difficult for this personality, but it isn’t impossible. They just cannot be forced.

Spiritual Strength

The practical side of the choleric Christian easily relates to justification. Sometimes this causes their harsh side to come out, but when they stay balanced, they have a good handle on this aspect of God’s kingdom. Every organization needs a “doer” and when a choleric is divinely inspired they are true workers for God: “But some will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works,” (James 2:18).


The need for control often makes the Christian life of submission difficult for the choleric. As I mention above, they see God as someone vying for control of their lives. They don’t give that up easily. Recognizing authority in the spiritual realm is another struggle this personality experiences. When it comes to rules on an earthly job, a practical choleric usually does well because following a set of proven, tangible rules helps them accomplish tasks. However, giving up authority that involves controlling their own destiny? . . . well, that is a little harder to deal with. Oh, they can do it, but is harder for them than for the other 3 personality types.

A Growing Choleric Christian

Here are a few hints for the choleric who wants to grow spiritually:

  • Find a prayer partner/mentor. Someone who understands the power of prayer can help this personality become more comfortable “asking” someone for help. That someone happens to be God. Many cholerics struggle in this area because they think they should be able to do everything alone. Prayer is also an easy introduction to the concept of seeking God’s will and not  their own (this struggle isn’t limited to the choleric personality). And lastly, when a choleric’s natural tendency of confidence turns into arrogance, it is hard for them to admit ANY wrong doing and see the need for repentance. Prayer is a gentle introduction into the world of forgiveness.
  • Learn to be alone and be still. Choleric people are busy people. They love to lead and need people to fill that need. They rarely sit down before they see another challenge. It is a rare occasion when my choleric husband sits with me on the back patio without jumping up to prune the tree, reinforce a loose piece of fence, or pick up a stray piece of trash the dogs have dragged into the yard. That “doer” attitude often invades their time with God.
  • Read short devotionals or do topical studies with clear concepts. When a choleric slows down it doesn’t last long and the benefit/concept must be presented quickly lest he/she looses interest and decides that it is a waste of time.
  • Learn to set spiritual goals, not just earthly ones. Understanding that not everything has to have a visual/tangible result is a big step for a choleric. Many important goals are realized in the spiritual realm AND they don’t happen as quickly as this fast-paced personality would like. Relaxing and learning to watch for God to work is a huge accomplishment for any choleric.

I hope these insights help you understand the choleric Christian. As it is with every personality, the choleric is not perfect and can be quite frustrating at times. However, when this wonderful kingdom doer minimizes weaknesses and capitalizes on his/her strengths, great things get accomplished. Just think about the Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament. God had His hands full with this Pharisee of Pharisees, but when Paul allowed Jesus to be his Lord and Savior, Paul helped turn the world upside down.

©2013 Shona Neff

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm and is filed under Personalities: Four-Part Series, Personality Stories - Choleric, The Personalities - Let's Learn!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “Spiritual Personalities, Part 2 – Choleric”

  1. nascarccmgrlfan Says:

    My choleric may show in church as well. When I was in elementary school, I started to help my parents with nursery church. I passed out snack, helped get out and put away toys, as well as break up a fight between two little girls over a doll. I started to help with the girl’s club at 19, since I’d graduated from being a member at 18. This bit I can’t put a personality with but I did it. I’ve worked in baby nursery at my current church.

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