Replacing “me” with “He”: Day 2 {Your Unique Rhythm}

Oct 11, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about “spending time with God.” I encouraged us to think more in terms of a relationship. To develop a spiritual rhythm with God. To view God as someone we can know and interact with throughout our day.

I may interact with God differently than you do.

I know that God created me uniquely. There is no other person exactly like me. Even among my 2 brothers and 1 sister, none of us are alike. My 3 boys are amazingly different from one another.


When we look at our relationship with God and the development of our spiritual life we need to consider our uniqueness. I naturally relate to God differently than my spouse does. My temperament or personality affects what spiritual disciplines I am more likely to chose to know God more.

Do you know what your personality/temperament is? Have you ever taken a test? Have you heard the terms: choleric, sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic? (Or the animal counterparts: lion, otter, golden retriever, beaver?)

Here is a quick synopsis of the 4 temperaments. Usually you are a mixture of two (dominant one and secondary one):

Goal oriented
Problem Solver
People motivator
People care
Team player
Not focused on details
Cannot relax
Overly cautious
Being wrong
How to help
Get out of my way
Talk to me
Give me assurances
Leave me alone

Did you find your temperament on the chart? I’m definitely a mixture of choleric (dominant) and sanguine (secondary).

Due to my goa- oriented, driven personality, I am self-motivated in making sure I spend time with God. But I can get discouraged if I don’t see immediate results in my life as a result of my efforts.  Because I am also motivated by people and encouragement, I thrive when I’m in a group with other people (finally explains why I’m crazy enough to be in 2 different women’s Bible studies!).

My husband who is primarily a sanguine and secondarily a choleric identified the spiritual disciplines of celebration (taking joyful, passionate pleasure in God), hospitality & mentoring (to accompany & encourage others to grow to their God-given potential) as those in his natural rhythm.

Based on your unique personality some spiritual disciplines may be more natural for you.  If you are more melancholy, you may be drawn to service opportunities and showing others compassion. If you are phlegmatic you may be drawn to deeply studying God’s word directly, within structure, and need accountability for motivation.

There is no “one way” to know God. God created us uniquely so that we can commune with Him uniquely. The key is to not feel guilt or shame with how you best connect with God. He made you and He does not make mistakes.

The great news is as we become more like Christ the lines between these temperaments in our lives begin to become blurred.

Day Two Action points:

1. What is your unique personality/temperament? Identify your strengths/weaknesses, wants/fears.

2. Consider your spiritual life. What disciplines are you drawn to? What has been your history in how you’ve connected with God?

**Tomorrow we will look at solitude & other spiritual disciplines and what disciplines we may need to integrate into our rhythms to address areas of weakness.**

***This post was motivated by a class I am taking at my church based on “Sacred Rhythms” by Ruth Haley Barton***


  1. Sherri

    is there a test on line to figure out your personality type?

  2. Dr. W. H. Penewit

    I was so pleased to see you blogging about temperament. Did you study the “fifth” temperament yet? What was your interpretation?

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thanks for stopping by. I have not heard of a 5th temperament. How would you describe it?

  3. Dr. W. H. Penewit

    The Supine is defined as “1. Lying on the back or having the face upward.
    2. Having the palm upward. ” The Supine is a bowing temperament, seeing everyone else as valuable and themselves as almost worthless. The Supine see themselves as people who serve other people. The Supine temperament behavior is so extremely unique that it demanded a type classification of it’s own. The Supine (in the area of control) isn’t “wired” to be able to make decisions on their own, so its extremely difficult for them. Most Supines are female but I do have 2 male Supine patients. I have a few articles on Temperament that may help you!
    Temperament is an extremely interesting topic to discuss! have fun!!


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