“Our style of relating to God is consistent with our style of relating to others. Our personalities influence our preferences in church and worship.” (Signature sins by Michael Mangis, p. 81)
Each one of us has a unique personality. I think that it is SO amazing how God has made each and every one of us unique. No two people are exactly alike. Everyone’s personalities differ, as well. In Signature sins, Mangis talks about the “seven deadly sins” and how those sins might look very different to different people. Different people might struggle with the same sin, but it will look different in their lives because that particular sin is unique to their life.
In that same book, in chapter 5, he starts talking about four spiritual temperament categories. I will spend some time talking about what he called the Franciscan Temperament because I think it sounds the most like me. I can talk about the others for ya’ll, if you want. Within these categories, however, it would be easy to pull parts and pieces from different categories, I think, because God made us each SO unique that it is hard to force people into categories like this. He starts off with:
“The Franciscan temperament…is characterized by a preference for the senses over intuition.”
In other words, I like to feel things and experience things rather than just rely on the facts. I live in the moment. He also says:
“Traditions become stifling for Franciscans because rigid structures do not leave room for God to do a new thing.”
I think that describes me pretty well. I have always hated ‘traditions’ for the most part. He also says something later about people in this spiritual temperament hate for their experiences to be the same every day. I completely agree, when I look at my own life. In high school I was constantly frustrated because every day seemed SO similar…like I was just living one longggg continuous day that would never end. The day was only paused for several hours so that I could sleep, then I continued on. I didn’t like that.
He also names the common ‘signature sin’ of the Franciscan temperament: It is being too easily swayed by passions and experiences. Whoever fits in this category, needs to be careful to not base our faith or spiritual heights on passions or our experiences. It is so easy for me to do this. We also hunger for passionate worship, which I can relate too.
It’s funny that he mentions this as well because I was literally just praying about this. I had read this chapter earlier today, but I didn’t remember that he said this until I looked back and re-read the highlighted parts. He said:
“Those of the Franciscan temperament have difficulty tolerating and appreciating times of God’s quiet.”
Like I already said, I was just praying about this. I asked God to help me listen to Him. It seems to me like I am so quick to ask requests of God, even if they are good things. Even if they are for other people. That isn’t wrong, in fact God wants us to ask for things and make requests of Him. But that should be the only reason that I pray. I need to be okay with the silence. I need to learn to just sit in silence and learn how to listen to God. Praying is really just a conversation. But most of the time it seems like I am doing most of the talking. I don’t think that’s what God intended.
“Franciscans benefit from the practice of silent, listening prayer that seeks to still the heart and sit silently in Jesus’ presence.”
That’s Franciscans in a nutshell and it seems to be the one that I related to the most. Sorry if I spent too much time talking about me and sorry if I made it seem uninteresting. If you want me to write about the other three temperaments, comment or something and I will try to make time for that 😀