Faith / Spirituality / Religion

Issue 06 | The Serving Leader

Guardian Protector ISFJ - J.W. Marriott Jr.

Faith, Spirituality, Religion

Some of the most memorable discussions we’ve had with Dr. Keirsey pertained to people’s different approaches to their faith, spirituality, or religion. When it comes to these areas, there are so many different ways that people identify themselves. Some refer to themselves as “religious,” some as “not religious,” then there’s “spiritual, but not religious,” a “person of faith,” and let’s not forget about the “atheist,” or “agnostic.” Some get right down to the specific labels of designation, by identifying themselves with a certain religious group (i.e. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, etc.) and you can even go further to specify whether you are conservative, liberal, orthodox, charismatic, or mainstream within most religious groups. At Keirsey, our research indicates that depending on your temperament, you are likely to approach faith, spirituality, or religion differently.

Let’s Roll
The Dice

Artisans are the 2nd most unlikely temperament to belong to a religious organization. They value their personal freedom, and do not want to subject themselves to any prescribed ways of living their lives. Rules and restrictions feel imprisoning for them. By nature, Artisans seek adventure, pleasure and want to be thrilled and challenged. Sitting still to listen to someone telling them what they should and shouldn’t do feels extremely confining for these folks. Whether there is a heaven or hell, or any kind of reality beyond the grave is not something they think about often. They are so ever engaged in the present, that there is little or no time for contemplating what can’t be seen. These types want to live to the fullest in the here and now, and prefer to roll the dice on whether there’s a place to go after life is over.


Guardians are the most likely temperament to belong to a religious organization. They value safety, security, stability, and reliability. A prescription for living is a comforting road map for how to live daily. Knowing that there is a higher power that governs a chaotic world allows them to sleep at night. By nature, Guardians seek to belong, and want to know that their conduct is in line with that which is appropriate and fitting. They have respect for authority, and believe that it must be earned. Listening to someone who has diligently studied what they have not is appealing to them. They believe in a moral order, where behavior is right or wrong, and they seek to be on the right side. They strive to move up in society, and receiving approval is a step toward being ultimately approved by the Highest Authority.


Idealists are the 2nd most likely temperament to belong to a religious organization. However, they are also likely to identify themselves to be “spiritual, but not religious.” They value harmony, peace, and love. They pay close attention to their feelings, nurturing their souls, caring for people’s hearts, and believing in the potential of the human spirit. By nature, Idealists seek to be compassionate and desire to connect. Idealist’s live by faith, hope, and love. They forever believe in their dreams. Sitting at the feet of the sage, and sharing in a communal experience is a part of daily living. They believe in the goodness of everyone, and seek to draw it out. They are inclined to come alongside another, and are patient with the troublesome and the hurting, believing that love can transform anything.

It's All
Made Up

Rationals are the most unlikely temperament to belong to a religious organization. (Ironically, Rationals lead some of the largest ones in the world.) They value their autonomy, seeking to be self-sufficient; that is, to call their own shots. By nature, Rationals seek knowledge, are driven by purpose, and make decisions by reason. They are generally skeptical and have no interest in listening to anyone speak about anything that does not make sense to them. They will however, welcome insightful inquiry that informs their knowledge base. They desire to unravel the mysteries of the universe, and have curious minds. If they subscribe to a belief in some kind of higher power, they are likely to do so because they can make sense of an intelligent design. Otherwise, they are likely to see such belief systems as being all made up.

Spiritual Disciplines

They say that most human beings (irrespective of their temperament type) become spiritually engaged during times of difficulty, challenge, loss, or because of some kind of awakening. Different temperaments practice their spirituality in different ways. They are often referred to as spiritual disciplines.

Different Kinds of Spirituality

We believe that temperament has a significant impact on what will make a person feel most alive. And we believe that the spiritual pursuit must include elements of connection with what brings life for you. In this article, we explore some of the intricacies of what gives life and breath to each of the temperaments.