Do You Think or Feel Your Way to God?

These are two important, most definitely, because the answer to these questions shapes the way we see the world. I tend to process the world by how I feel about it - intuition, hunches, nudges. I'm a feeler.

My wife tends to process the world by how she thinks about it - details, facts, tangibles. She's a sensing type.

Why does this matter at all?

In the conversation about spirituality, discipleship, and growth the thinker/feeler ideas can either help or hinder us as we grow. They can create presuppositions - I'm not a "spiritual" person because I don't get emotional - or they create barriers - I don't FEEL God right now so I must be out of sync with Him.

Either way, the thinker/feeler discussion is incredible important. As you read this, no doubt you're trying to decide who you are. The best way to determine where you land is to think about the last major purchase you made. Did you read reviews and ask other people who purchased the same thing? Did you need to hold it, look at it, test drive it before making a decision? You're probably more of a sensing type. If you pulled up a mental "chair" and cozied up with a blanket and waited to see what your gut did when you thought about that particular purchase, you're probably a feeler. If you hit in the middle, I can't help you.

Now that we've established at least a ballpark idea of where you are, here are some challenges for thinkers and feelers. I'm listing these because honestly I believe we will grow most powerfully when we split the difference between the two.

1. Thinkers will want to protect the facts about God, feelers will want to cultivate a feeling of God.

2. Thinkers will strive for efficiency in their spiritual practices (prayer, study, etc.), feelers will get lost in them completely.

3. Thinkers will need God to prove Himself to them, feelers will need God to give them a "buzz" that reminds them of His presence.

The reality is that we need to be aware of how we relate to God if we want to be formed into the image of His son. We must realize, as the Psalmist says,

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Ps. 139:13, NLT)

God designed the very basis of our humanity, and He understands how the various parts of us work together and how we understand the world. He desperately wants to poetically and practically engage those inner fabrics in a way that we begin to become who we were intended to be.

Is it possible that our major hurdles in growing in Christ - in living out the Jesus Rhythm - are based on the fact that we haven't tapped into our basic personality as a way of relating to God?
Thinkers - would you pray differently if you realized you didn't have to feel anything for God to listen to you?
Feelers - would you engage the Scriptures differently if you were able to get lost in them without an agenda?
I hope to do a series of "Wednesday" posts on this topic going forward. I'd love to hear from you and know whether or not this is an area you'd like to explore.