Spirituality vs. Jesus

Spirituality invites you to explore your inner self. Jesus invites you to explore his glory and forget yourself.

Spirituality invites you to find yourself. Jesus invites you to lose yourself.

Spirituality is a journey that ultimately results in you “saving” yourself. Following Jesus is a journey that begins when you stop trying to save yourself.

Spirituality leads to self-expression which results in self-fulfillment. Jesus calls you to die to yourself and find your fulfillment in him.

Spirituality begins when you resolve to “try harder”. Following Jesus begins when you give up.

Spirituality says you’re worth it. Jesus says that he’s worth it.

Spirituality allows you to take charge of your life. Jesus commands you to acknowledge him as King of your life.

Spiritual gurus dispense “wisdom”.

Jesus saves sinners.

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  • mellingerla says:

    Stephen–I nearly always enjoy this blog, but you're a bit off base with this one. "Spiritual" (the Greek pneumatikos) is a biblical word. In 1 Cor 2:13 and 15, Paul makes a distinction between "spiritual" people and "fleshly" people, and urges us to seek to live as spiritual people. As Christians, we have been purchased by the Spirit, sealed by the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit. "Spiritual" gifts, given by that same Spirit, are part of our "spirituality."

    You're absolutely correct that many people operate with a flimsy definition of spirituality, as your blog entry suggests–almost a new name for "self-help." But Christian spirituality means placing ourselves, by God's grace and only with His power, where God can transform us into the likeness of Jesus, the Son of God. Scripture reading and prayer put us in that place; so do service to others in the name of Christ, fellowship with other believers, and cross-centered worship.

    So please be careful not to bash "spirituality" by assuming that the world has defined it correctly and then setting it up in opposition to Christian faith. Remember that following Jesus means becoming "spiritual" people who can discern truth from error.

  • I completely agree with you. The definition of spirituality I'm using here is spirituality as defined by culture. I do believe in Christian spirituality like you've described. I think though that many non-Christians would define themselves as spiritual and not religious. I'm just trying to contrast the difference between that spirituality and following Jesus. Thanks for making that clear!

  • roof says:

    I don't know if I would say Jesus wants us to lose our self unless we qualify it and are careful to define it Biblically. That is needed because the "new spirituality" in most cases is monistic (All is one) and pantheistic (All is god) so they say that we actually do lose ourselves literally. That is to say that the self gets swallowed up into the One or Brahman (to use a Hindu category) and this is achieved, usually through yoga, by recognizing that you aren't actually a distinct self from god in the first place. You are god. To the contrary the Bible teaches that we will always be ourselves, we never loose our individuality. What we need is redemption and in order for that to occur we need to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ and recognize his right to rule his creation. God is wholly other and when we submit ourselves to His will, that is when we find out who really are (made in the image of God our creator) and what it means to flourish as a human which resonates with your fourth point.

  • Joan Body says:

    So off-base. Monks and nuns I know are some of the most spiritual people on earth. Sprituality grows compassion. One can be a Christian–or anything else and be sprituality.

  • Emily says:

    I loved this. THank you.

  • Paul C says:

    Funny you post this. Today, I read this: Mother Nature Loves You?:http://theresurgence.com/mother_nature_loves_you

    It demonstrates the divergence between what I would classify as the god people perceive through popular culture and the true and living God of the Bible.

    A couple of the above comments seem to be splitting hairs over the word spiritual, but I fully get what you mean. There is definitely a push today for people to "connect with their inner self" and find meaning. Perhaps a lot of it is driven by the fact that we have more than we ever had yet are still empty inside. So people look for "spiritual" food (junk food being the most accessible and appealing) to fill them up.

  • I totally agree. I wasn't referring to any sort of Buddhist philosophy. I was referring to the self-determinist, discover yourself, post modernism of the west. Thanks for clarifying.

  • So true. We have more material things than ever before, yet people are so empty and lacking joy. I think this is what pushes people to be spiritual.

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