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30th June 2022


Spiritual Styles / Preferences

God intends that we grow & develop in the Christian life. The goal is Christlikeness.
We start as babes & mature to become adults, & even parents, in the faith (1 John 2:13-14).
Our growth & development shaped by the mix & blend of styles that we adopt.
Word (head), Emotion (heart), Symbol (mystic) or Action (social justice).


Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3


Scripture (the word of God) & the Spirit will be foremost in the change & transformation that takes place.
The spiritual styles that we adopt & embrace will play a secondary but still significant role.
The key thing is that we grow up in all things unto Christ (Galatians 4:19).
Our heads, hearts, musings, hands & activities caught up by His character & in His cause.
Kingdom theologians, charismatics, mystics & crusaders!

To demonstrate how we adopt & embrace the differing styles I will give an example from my life & ministry.
I love reading & studying Scripture & then preaching & teaching about it.
It is how Word (Head) works out in me & it is undoubtedly my dominate style & my default.
In terms of Heart (Emotions) I love worship & being (dwelling) in those gatherings where the presence of God is strong.
Individual worship takes place in the quiet & secret place but corporate worship is always far more powerful for me.

I am probably weakest in the area of contemplation & being Mystic (Symbol).
I do enjoy solitude & my pigeon loft is my meditating & musing space.
Alongside this I have embraced retreat & quiet days but this area & style is the one I have to work hardest at.
In terms of social action I remain active as a Street Pastor & continue to work to support the homeless.
I have also been involved in chaplaincy in a number of settings.
In summary I am very strongly word based, backed up by emption & then action. I need to keep working at symbol.
Head, Heart & then Hands but mysticism requires some work!


For Reflection

  • Which styles come most easily & naturally to me & which need working at?
  • How am I seeking to benefit from each spiritual style?
  • Meditate on what blend & mix of styles is present in you.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You desire for me to grow up in all things unto Christ,
That your great will & desire is to make me more & more like Jesus.
Lord Jesus thank You that you are ever with me to shape & mould me in Your image.
Holy Spirit keep leading me upward & onward to imitate Christ in all His ways.
That I may know Father, Son & Spirit with greater passion & desire.
This I ask in, & through, Your mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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