Are you a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learner?
What about personality type: are you an introvert or extrovert? Thinker or feeler?
How about chocolate: milk, white, or dark?
I’m just kidding about that last question (though I’m finally acquiring a taste for dark chocolate). But those other questions are legitimate, and you probably answered them in your mind without giving it much thought.
The truth is we intuitively know how we function best when it comes to learning, relating to people, and consuming content, and we adjust our approach based on what works best for us. But when it comes to the spiritual realm, we somehow expect everyone to relate to God in the same way. After all, doesn’t God expect us to read the Bible in solitude and wrap it up with an ACTS prayer?
Turns out, God’s more creative than we think. Throughout history, He’s invited people to connect with Him in myriad ways, before the Bible was even available in individual printed copies.
- How do you think Enoch walked with God?
- How did David have his “quiet time” in the pastures when he was a shepherd boy?
- How did Mary keep her heart in tune with God?
- What about all the Christians who lived throughout the Middle Ages and those who couldn't read?
I’m not saying that reading the Bible and praying are not important for spiritual development. I believe they are essential, and we are privileged to live in an era when we have the Word of God readily available to us. But let’s not buy the lie that there's only one "right" way to connect with God.
In fact, as we look at Scripture, we discover that God delights in diversity, artistry, and creativity. And just as a parent delights in watching their children grow into their unique talents and personalities, so I believe God delights in watching us bloom into the spiritual people He created us to be.
Some of us feel closest to God while hiking a mountain or watching the fiery colors of a sunrise. Others feel a deep connection with God through reciting ancient creeds and participating in traditions. Still others feel His presence when serving a meal to the homeless or caring for an elderly parent.
It’s time we unboxed our perception of what it means to connect with God and embrace the freedom, creativity, and beauty of connecting with Him in the ways He’s created us to. As we learn our spiritual temperament, we will discover the freedom of not just dutifully “doing” our quiet time, but actually enjoying fullness of joy in God’s presence.