“Truly my soul finds rest in God;” – Psalm 62:1
I absolutely love this time of year. I was driving down Grants Mill Road this morning, looking at the changing colors and feeling the cool change in the air. It is on days like these that my soul sings. These are the days, after the long, hot summer, that I feel refreshed and truly alive. I can’t help but sing praises to God on these glorious days of fall; they are indeed my favorite.
However, we aren’t all that way. Take my beloved for example. He absolutely hates this time of year. The time change, everything slowing down and turning dormant – it is a real downer for him. And my daughter? She lives for spring – warm breezes and beautiful flowers – she waits all year to see the first daffodils.
Isn’t it strange how God created each one of us so differently? And it’s not just with seasons either. He created each of us to connect with Him differently too. Think about it, that is why we have different types of worship services. Some of us are drawn to the liturgies and hymns, while others love the outpouring of emotion that comes from the more contemporary songs.
But it is so much more than the type of service we attend. At our core, God made each one of us unique and relates to us in that way.
In his book, Sacred Pathways, Reverend Gary Thomas share with us nine spiritual temperaments. Our temperament is the way we connect with God most easily. I am listing them below, and I would be very interested in hearing where each of you fall. And we don’t have to be relegated to just one. Many of us have multiple settings that speak to us naturally.
Spend some time looking over these and considering your own temperament. Once you discover it, think about how you can best incorporate these kinds of activities in your daily life.
Finding a way to worship God on a daily basis will fill your soul as nothing else. For me it becomes as a drug; once I get it, all I want is more of it.
If you are having difficulty in determining what type you are, don’t worry. You can find Reverend Thomas’s book (hard copy and kindle) on the Liberty Crossings Amazon Site:
As well, during the month of November, Pastor Wade will be preaching a sermon series on Worship. We will be looking at these issues along with several others as they relate to our personal style of worship. We will have several opportunities to learn more about how God made us and the many different ways we can worship Him.
Nine Spiritual Temperaments
Naturalists – Loving God Out of Doors
Naturalists would prefer to leave any building, however beautiful or austere, to pray to God beside a river.
Sensates – Loving God with the Senses
Sensate Christians…are drawn particularly to the liturgical, the majestic, the grand…Incense, intricate architecture, classical music, and formal language send their hearts soaring.
Traditionalists – Loving God Through Ritual and Symbol
Traditionalists are fed by what are often termed the historic dimensions of faith: rituals, symbols, sacraments, and sacrifice.
Ascetics – Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity
Ascetics want nothing more than to be left alone in prayer. Take away the liturgy, the trappings of religion, the noise of the outside world,- no pictures, no loud music—and leave them alone to pray in silence and simplicity.
Activists – Loving God Through Confrontation
Activists serve a God of justice, and their favorite Scripture is often the account of Jesus cleansing the temple. They define worship as standing against evil and calling sinners to repentance. These Christians often view the church as a place to recharge their batteries so they can go back into the world to wage war against injustice.
Caregivers – Loving God by Loving Others
Caregivers serve God by serving others. They often claim to see Christ in the poor and needy, and their faith is built up by interacting with other people.
Enthusiasts – Loving God with Mystery and Celebration
Excitement and mystery in worship is the spiritual lifeblood of enthusiasts. As sensates want to be surrounded by beauty and intellectuals want to be grappling with concepts, enthusiasts are inspired by joyful celebration. These Christians are cheerleaders for God and the Christian life. Let them clap their hands, shout “Amen!” and dance in their excitement, that’s all they ask. If their hearts aren’t moved, if they don’t experience God’s power, something is missing.
Contemplatives – Loving God Through Adoration
Contemplatives refer to God as their lover, and images of a loving Father and Bridegroom predominate their view of God. Their favorite Bible passages might be taken from the Song of Songs as they enter the “divine romance.” The focus is not necessarily on serving God, doing his will, accomplishing great things in his name, or even obeying God. Rather, these Christians seek to love God with the purest, deepest, and brightest love imaginable.
Intellectuals – Loving God with the Mind
Intellectuals might be skeptics or committed believers, but in either case they are likely to be studying (and, in some instances, arguing either for or against) doctrines like Calvinism, infant baptism, ordination of women, and predestination. These Christians live in the world of concepts, not emotions.
Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex. I see Your fingerprints on my soul and I sing Your praises. Lead me, Lord, into understanding how I am made and how I can best connect with You. Create in me a desire to be in Your presence and a deep sense of joy when I finally get there. Teach me how to worship You in spirit and in truth.
In the name of my Savior I pray,
Bonus Question: Who is the first person that can guess what my spiritual temperament is? I look forward to hearing your answers!