Everyone finds different ways to get close to God | Faithful Living

During the last few weeks we have taken a look at various things people do to connect with God in personal and sustained ways. I’ve been using Gary Thomas’ book, “Sacred Pathways: Discovering Your Soul’s Path to God,” as a reference and I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this series.

The diversity of people with whom we live — and the ways they naturally interact with God as well as friends and family —explains in great part why we behave the way we do; why we make the choices we make; how we process information and respond to life as it unfolds.

This week we take a look at people Thomas calls “Intellectuals.” These are people who are energized, filling with awe and love, when they learn something new about God and His ways. Just as caregivers can spend hours planning ways to better serve those who are shut-in and no longer living independently as they once did, so the intellectual can spend time happily contemplating a challenging Bible verse or spiritual concept.

If Intellectuals are not learning new things about God, they feel bored and stagnant. And while church folks often talk about “transforming hearts,” in Scripture we see that people were urged to use their mind wisely. Jesus himself called each follower to love God with all their heart, soul and mind.

True Intellectuals broaden their faith by gaining understanding of basic disciplines that include church history, Bible studies, theology, ethics and apologetics.

These are the people with vast libraries, scheduled Bible studies and fully loaded eReaders. Ask them what they’ve been doing with their spare time and you just may get an ear full about the Christian movement in America.

You might also hear some scripture recently memorized. Or better yet, you might be asked your opinion of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Lofty stuff? It sure can be. But Intellectuals have a way of incorporating such knowledge into everyday life. They read the headlines and are energized by asking these kinds of questions:

When does life begin?

How do we know when natural life ends?

Can nuclear war ever be considered a “just” war?

How do we live responsibly in a worldwhere there are so many people in need?

A Christian Intellectual will warn you that those who don’t know what they believe lose their ability to make right decisions.

They delight in such contemplations and believe they serve God best when explaining what the Christian faith is all about and how it can be demonstrated in their everyday lives.

These past couple of weeks our community has suffered right alongside the Goheen family and everyone involved in that horrendous Halloween night car accident.

In response, people have chosen to take many different paths in their efforts to be helpful and offer comfort. There are those who have cooked and cleaned. Some have prayed like warriors. Others are organizing.

The Intellectuals are offering soothing and hopeful Scripture. God uses them all, offering everyone involved a measure of healing and hope, strength and growth. When life involves untouchable sorrow and pain, God draws near to us.

You’ll see Him, and hopefully experience Him, by simply looking around Oak Harbor.

Joan Bay Klope can be reached at faithful


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