Los Alamos Church of Christ

Review of the Temperaments

This morning we come to the end of our study on the Temperaments.  But, I hope this is not the end of the impact of our study.  My prayer is that the lessons we have learned from the temperaments will have an ongoing effect… for many years to come… perhaps, changing how we connect to God… maybe even… how we connect to each other for the rest of our lives. 

So, this being the last sermon on the nine historical temperaments… I want to review what we have learned. I want to wrap up our study.  I want to put a bow on it.  So, here are the Seven Most important Lessons we have learned from 2016 Connections. 

Let’s see if we have learned them.  Let’s see if these seven lessons are going to have an ongoing impact on who we are. 


Lesson One --We learned the word “Temperament”. 

When we began our study the word temperament was not very familiar to us.  It was not a way I thought about my connection to God.  I knew everyone was different, but how that worked to connect to God was a bit vague.  But, now I know the word temperament…

--I know that a temperament is your spiritual tuning.  All of us are wired a bit differently. Whether from our DNA or from our heritage or from our experiences, we individually tune to God in different ways.

--We know that a temperament comes naturally.  There is ease in connecting within our temperament.  It should not be a struggle.  Flowing to God within your temperament comes naturally.

--We have learned that there a nine historical temperaments but when they are all tuned on the soundboard your overall sound is unique.  Only you can give glory to God in the way you give glory to God!

--We have learned that your temperament is your go-to way; your primary way; your normal manner of connecting to God.

--We have learned the concept of temperament.

This is important because of the second… most important lesson we have learned.


Lesson Two – We discovered Sweet Spots.

I hope this is the main lesson we have learned.  If you don’t get the other six… get this one.  Once you have identified your primary temperaments, you use that information to discover Sweet Spots of worship.  This is a shift in our thinking.  Connection to God transcends our time together on Sunday worship.  We can find sweet spots of worship anywhere… anytime… any opportunity.  Sweet spots become how where we live.

This is the point of Hebrews 10…

ESV Hebrews 10:19-22 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,  by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 

That is what we have done this whole year.  As we engage our temperaments, we enter the Most Holy Place… that sweet spot… that thin place… behind the curtain… that intersection between heaven and earth… that place where God meets us in Connection… We live within our temperament in worship of God.

--When I work on a sermon on Tuesday morning and I find the right words from God, as an intellectual I worship him… intentionally in my sweet spot.

--When Tanya sees someone a Smith’s she needs to engage… Her Caregiver kicks in… she ministers to that person in the Holy Place of Grocery Store in connection to that person with God in worship.  Caregiving is worship.

--Savannah puts on her headphones and the worship music takes her behind the curtain to connect to God as an enthusiast!

--Or as Jordan and Connon watch the World Series game seven… could that be a place of worship?

--When Lyn spends two hours an Joanna’s – that is a material store – picking our just the right colors to make a quilt it is a sweet spot of worship.  It is not just shopping it is intentional worship.

--When Angie goes into her backyard, it is into her garden of worship.

--When Griffin takes his mountain bike out on a Sunday afternoon by himself with God it is most likely more worship to him than sitting here during church.  That is the point.  We change our thinking to intentionally understand… intentionally create… intentionally connect to God… that is precious.

--When Tony cranks up his guitar in praise of his lover… his Sensate enters into the embrace of the One who loves him the most.

--When Bill Redmond gets on favorite subject… worldview… what is he doing?  It is not a soapbox.  It is to him an atlar. 

I hope… I pray… I want us to learn this lesson, if nothing else… know where to find a sweet spot. 

As we find our own sweet spots that leads us to understand other people…


Lesson Three - We rejoiced in other people’s uniqueness.  

Because of our study of the temperaments I value you more.  You are precious because only you can worship God as you.  Only you can reflect your image of God back to God.  I have to understand you are different than me.  What jazzes me… may bore you.  What floats your boat, may leave me high and dry. What raises him up, may leave us flat.  All that is okay.  Because I have learned to see you as God sees you. 

I have enjoyed our tests… Last week we saw our different soundboards… 

Our congregation is not exactly who I thought we were…  But it is exciting to understand our differences.  We can rejoice in each other’s uniqueness.

Because we have learned to rejoice over each other, it has helped us with lesson number four…


Lesson Four - We are less irritated by other people. 

One of the reasons there has been splits within churches; distrust of other Christians and heart burn with others is misunderstanding how others are wired differently in connection to God.  I think this is an important side benefit to our temperament study. I can grace others easier when I understand their priorities of connection are different than my own. 

One wants a symbolic place of worship while another wants to give our money to help the poor while another wants to spend that money on the oppressed while another wants to go to a concert or have a new Bible class…  The priorities of how we spend our resources often are in conflict because of our temperaments. This is good information to help us grace each other just a little bit more.  We can be less irritated with each other.

But also, as we see others connecting in differing ways, we can encourage others to…


Lesson Five – We can get out of our comfort zones. 

It is easy to get stuck.  It is easy to do what we have always done.  It is easy to lose our passion.  One way to shake that up is to attempt to connect in other temperaments.  We have been brave this year to attempt other temperaments.

I think that is the value of getting out of your little box of temperament and connect to God in other ways to open up our range of worship.  There is value in the more avenues of connection; the more the better.

 We have pointed to Jesus as fully all nine temperaments.  We have learned to get out of our comfort zones.

 So that is what we did this year…


Lesson Six – We shared Sweet Spots together. 

We have found our sweet spots together to form the body of Christ… We have put together several thin places of worship this year!  This may be my favorite part of the year.

--I remember our Easter Service… the cross… the lilies… the connection in traditions… Savanah being baptized and taking the symbol of the purple and bringing back the white.

--I remember our Pentecost Enthusiast service.  Tony leading us into the arms of Jesus.  Where we stayed a long time. 

--I remember… “Coincidence… I think not”.

--I remember our Sensate worship – smells… sounds… images…  all our senses connected

--I remember our Naturalist service at Camp May…

We have shared some sweet spots together!  I hope we continue with some of these as traditions. Every year doing an Easter, Pentecost, Enthusiast and Naturalist service.

As traditionalist we have said the Shema many times.


Lesson Seven – We have accepted… The Challenge of the Shema

ESV Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

These are not four different things. The point is… just like the Lord our God is One, we are One.  With everything we are… all of our heart… all of our soul… all of our mind… all of our strength… We as a package… we as a whole… as one made in the image of God… we need to connect to Him with all the love of your being. Being fully engaged in connection to God surely is what we are created for.  You have been created… you individually… have been created to worship God in only the way that you can worship Him with all of you.

The challenge of the Shema is to connect with all we are.  So we have said a variety of different Shemas.  I didn’t start having different Shemas until about half way through our study.  I went back and wrote a Shema for each of the temperaments. 

Let’s end our study of the temperaments by saying all nine of the Shemas… a little differently.  Join me in reciting… the Shema of your number 1 and 2.  On the tests – think which ones were my number one and number two… only say those…

The Shema

INTELLECTUAL Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Teacher: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Wise One. 

And you shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, loving His Word.

…with all your soul, longing to know the LORD.

…with all your mind, fully engaged in Him.

…with all your strength, grasping His glory.”


CAREGIVER Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Servant: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Giving One. 

And you shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, loving others.

…with all your soul, connected to Jesus through helping.

…with all your mind, serving their needs.

…with all your strength, helping the suffering.”


TRADITIONALIST Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Ritualist: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Unchanging One. 

And you shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, in remembrance of His deeds.

…with all your soul, in adoration of glory.

…with all your mind, connected through symbols.

…with all your strength, in the power of words.”


ENTHUSIAST Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Hyper One: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Zealous One. 

And you shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, filled with His Spirit.

…with all your soul, jumping in joy.

…with all your mind, open to expectancy

…with all your strength, in praise.”


SENSATE Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Artist: The Lord our Immanent God, the Lord is the Transcendent one.

You shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, given passionately to your art.

…with all your soul, connected to the beauty of the LORD.

…with all your mind, knowing your talent comes from Him.

…with all your strength, offered to recreate His beauty.”


ASCETIC Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Quiet One: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Unassuming one.

You shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, in discipline offered to Him.

…with all your soul, open to mystery.

…with all your mind, with constant thoughts of Him.

…with all your strength, doing a million boring things.”


NATURALIST Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Outdoor One: The Lord our God, the Lord is the Creator.

You shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, without any hurry.

…with all your soul, in infinite variety.

…with all your mind, discovering His mysteries.

…with all your strength, in holding on to the Creator.”


CONTEMPLATIVE Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Loved One: The Lord our God, the Lord is your Groom.

You shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, dwelling in love.

…with all your soul, totally consumed.

…with all your mind, empty of everything, but Him.

…with all your strength, in a lover’s embrace.”


ACTIVIST Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Righteous One: The Lord our God, the Lord is your protection.

You shall love the Lord your God…

…with all your heart, loving holiness.

…with all your soul, championing the oppressed.

…with all your mind, focused on truth.

…with all your strength, changing the world.”


ALL Do the Beetle Shema…


Beetle Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Unique Beetle: The Lord our God, the Lord is in your broken mirror.  And you shall love the Lord your God in your distinctive sound with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”


My temperament is God’s gift to me.

My temperament is my gift to God.

My temperament is my gift to the body.

My temperament is my gift to the world.


Thank you all for your participation in our study of the Nine Temperaments.

God bless you as your give glory to the LORD through your temperaments.


Tim Stidham

November 6, 2016

Los Alamos Church of Christ