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10 relationships people have with God

POSTED: August 20, 2014 8:00 a.m.
Paulus Rusyanto, ©istockphoto.com/Ximagination/

The way people relate to and engage with their faith differs greatly across the population.

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A person's relationship with God can define his or her daily outlook on life.

A recent study by the Sociology of Religion found that praying and speaking with God can actually relieve people of stress. Researchers and psychologists have also found those who believe in God tend to worry less overall and be more tolerant of unexpected scenarios. There was also a study earlier this year that surveyed how often people attend church, and whether or not they completely tell the truth about how many times they attend.

But what does an intimate relationship with God really look like? The way people relate to and engage with their faith differs greatly across the population.

Here’s a look at 10 relationships people may have with God:

The daily believer
Some worship their God, deity or spirit everyday. Belief Net reported that 68.1 percent of Christians and 91.6 percent of Muslims pray more than once every day. This is the heavy believer. One example of this may be actor Mark Wahlberg,who told The Blaze that he heads to church everyday.

The weekly worshipper
Some Americans don't practice their religion everyday, but weekly doesn’t seem to be a problem. Four in 10 Americans told Gallup in 2013 that they attended a church within a week, which is not unlike years prior — when the percentage of weekly churchgoers hovered between 30 and 40 percent.

The monthly churchgoer
Americans are also heading to church on a monthly basis (about 11 percent of people, according to a 2010 Gallup poll) — and some of them think that church is actually losing its impact on society. But a Gallup poll found that 25 percent of monthly churchgoers believe religion is increasing in influence.

The millennial … sort of
Millenials aren’t really about church attendance. A study by Biola University found that one in 10 millennials find church attendance important. Still, you’re bound to find some in the pews.
The Pew Research Center reported that 18 percent of millennials attend a religious service every week — which is lower than the 28 percent of baby boomers who went to services when they were similar ages as the millennials (18 to 29).

The CEO (Christmas and Easter only)
There was a time when many people would head to the pews just for Christmas or Easter, but that seems to be a changing trend. An estimated 4.5 million people go to church on Christmas, according to The Telegraph, but that isn’t that inspiring of a number given that 4.8 million people will shop online on Christmas day. Americans seem to be undecided about going to church on Easter, too, since one in five Americans can’t decide whether they should head to church for the spring holiday.

The late bloomer
Not everyone is on time to church. And that seems to be OK with Bill Blankschaen, a blogger at Patheos. In a tongue-in-cheek article, Blankschaen explains why showing up late to church isn’t a problem, mainly because you’re still attending and celebrating God. This believer tries enough to at least see and speak with God during church — even though they might be a little late to the party.
“If you schedule a time to worship the almighty God of heaven and earth, people will come,” he wrote. “They might show up a little late — every week — but they will come. They might still be in their pajamas — but that’s another topic for another day, I suppose.”

The hurt...but hopeful
God can be a source of strength, and that’s how many people approach their faith and religion. Prayer has long been a source of comfort for people during tragedies and tough life events.
Pop star Brandy, for example, said that God gave her the strength to cope with a tragedy in her own life, where she got into a fatal car accident that killed another driver, Christian Post reported.
"I realized that God is real because I had no one else to depend on," Brandy said, according to Christian Post. "So, I did a lot of speaking to God, a lot of praying and a lot of journaling."

The half and halfer
It’s not surprising that there are people in the world who are unsure of God's presence. In fact, 2.4 percent of Americans don’t believe in God at all, the Pew Research Center reported. But 14 percent of the people who identified as atheists told Pew that they do believe in God or some kind of spirit. It seems there are plenty of unsure people out there when it comes to understanding the mystery of faith.

The best friend
Joyce Meyer, the Christian author and speaker, wrote her thoughts about how a believer can have a deep and intimate relationship with God. And while her suggestions may offer a quick road to building that relationship — and understanding what it means to be close to God — a lot of believing has to come naturally.
“When we have a real relationship with God through Christ, life gets exciting because he stirs up a passion inside us to love people — and we don't have to struggle to do the things he calls us to do,” she wrote. “It just happens naturally.”

The questioner
You believe in God, but you have a lot of questions. That’s the case with some believers. Bloggers and some bible passages offer insight into how it’s OK to question God’s plan. “God knows our hearts and knows whether we are genuinely seeking him to enlighten us,” according to gotquestions.org. “Our heart attitude is what determines whether it is right or wrong to question God."
Asking questions, after all, has been linked to improve learning — as long as you’re asking the right ones, according to the Global Cognition Organization.

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com
Twitter: @herbscribner

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