Devotional Thought: Worshiping The Way God Made You
For many of us worship can be a struggle. Especially when it is turned into something we have to get checked off our list for the day. This feeling of drudgery turns a morning quite time or corporate worship experience into an activity that drains our spiritual energy, instead of giving us life as it should. One reason that this is all too common in modern evangelicalism is that we have fallen into a “one size fits all” mentality for how we think about worship. Cookie-cutter approaches to spiritual disciplines means that we all should do our quiet time in the morning over a cup of coffee, pray before meals, and read devotionals before bed. Any deviation from this pattern indicates a lack of commitment to one’s sanctification. What we need to recognize instead is that not all personalities are the same. We all have different things that are difficult for us to do, conversely there are certain actions we will find come more easily.
When it comes to living the Christian life it is important that we eat our spiritual vegetables. No matter what type of personality you have prayer, community, and Bible study are essential aspects of growing in Christ. However, there is nothing wrong with eating spiritual dessert as well. Depending on how God made you, you may find Christian meditation or a lectio devina reading of Scripture to be when you connect with God the most. Or perhaps spending time in creation is how you feel God’s presence. Prayer lists, meditating on religious art, singing God’s praises, or spending time in Christian community are just a few of the countless ways that different people will find they connect with God. What I’m saying is that, when it comes to the spiritual disciplines, there is nothing wrong with eating as much dessert as you want.
But perhaps the dessert metaphor isn’t even the best way to describe it. Maybe we should look at the picture of the body Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 12. What if God made each of us different in order that we all would worship Him in our own unique way? Instead of viewing the Christian walk as a competition to see who can have the most early morning quiet times in a year, what if we all dove into whatever spiritual discipline God gave us a desire for?
Recently I have been convicted of the fact that we are always worshiping something. We are either engaging in idolatry or worshiping God by the actions we take. For example, I am borderline OCD, meaning I thrive in repetition and stability. This personality trait led me to shoot 1,000 free-throws a day while playing high school basketball, and is currently why I enjoy the statistics and the routine of professional baseball. But it is also why I love saying the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer is a short, repetitive prayer that Christians have been saying for centuries. It’s longest form is, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” By repeating this prayer hundreds of times in a given day I have been able to experience communion with God in a wonderful way. It allows me to use my personality that thrives of repletion for the glory of God.
I believe we each will have a discipline (or multiple disciplines) that we will find we connect with easily. Disciplines that spur us on to a closer relationship with God. Instead of feeling guilty that our relationship with Christ doesn’t look exactly like our friends’ relationship with God, we should celebrate the uniqueness that He has blessed us with. Using our personalities to worship God in our own personal way.