Unpacking temperaments

Last week we talked about spiritual temperaments. Let’s unpack the idea that we may be created with different personalities in how we connect with God.

outdoor officeOver on Facebook, my friend Rich Dixon said, “Donald Miller observes how much we’ve set up traditional churches to look like mini-universities. One wonders, though, about the big chunk of folks who DIDN’T savor the traditional school experience. How, beyond the teacher-and-a-bunch-of-students-and-a-curriculum model, might we engage folks in a deeper walk with Jesus?”

Imagine that several people we meet in the Bible sign up for Theology 101: Connecting with God. A week before their midterm grade is due, they receive an emailed assignment: “Write a one-page essay describing the characteristic of God with which you most resonate.”

The following Wednesday they walk into class and turn in their assignments.

  • David laid a piece of parchment on the table. He made it himself, having raised the sheep, shorn the sheep, butchered and skinned the sheep, prepared the hide. On it, he had written a poem.
  • Paul placed a scroll on the table. “I dictated it,” he says, “but I signed it. It’s my work. And it’s only one page, if you count a scroll as one page.”
  • Dorcas carried in an armful of tunics. “I wove these and fitted them for some widows. I hope you can return these quickly. It’s going to be cold this weekend.”
  • Asaph laid a pile of staff paper on the table. It was one of David’s poems, arranged for two choirs and percussion.
  • Peter’s mother-in-law and Martha walked in pushing carts of food.
  • Barnabas walked around the room looking at the work of the others, complimenting David on the creativity of the poetry, Dorcas on the fine stitches.
  • Mary, everyone realized, had never left the room. She was sitting quietly by the window, looking out.

Each of them COULD say to the others, “That wasn’t the assignment.” But Jesus would be saying to each, “Nice work, that’s exactly how I thought you, in particular, would describe love.”

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From February 1-4, 2017, Lent For Non-Lent People is free for Kindle downloads. If you don’t have it yet, you can’t afford not to look.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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