Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (NRSV)
Some of us only discovered Winnie the Pooh as grown-ups. What a loss to our childhood! Among the characters in those stories are the donkey Eeyore and the tiger, Tigger. Eeyore is constantly gloomy, pessimistic. Disaster is just around the corner and disappointment and disillusionment is already right there.
In contrast, Tigger bounces around in overwhelming cheerfulness. Something good is always at hand, something even better is on the horizon. The possibilities are endless and he wants to embrace them all.
Bit like humans really. Some are melancholy, others cheerful. Some are timid, some are bold. Some see the cloud whereas others see the silver lining. None of us can actually be so neatly categorised, but we generally tend to conform to our temperaments. Rather than seeing this is just an accident of birth or result of nurture, we could see our temperaments as God’s gift to us and others.
The Bible often speaks of our using individual gifts to build up the Christian community. We can perhaps extend this to our using our differing temperaments for the same cause. The Eeyores are needed by the Tiggers and vice versa. Some of us need a dose of a more positive outlook; others of us need to be brought down to earth a bit.
There is no need to strive to be all the same. Our individual temperaments are to become blessings rather than burdens.