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He is SO Spiritual! Really?
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What is the definition of “true spirituality?”  In going one step further, what is the definition of “spiritual depth?”  In church circles, I hear these terms used with some frequency.  “She is such a spiritual person.”   “He has such spiritual depth.”  I struggle with this terminology.  I don’t like these references for a simple reason.  I find that people that are perceived as being spiritual often display a condescending attitude in one shape or another.  Such dispositions surface in many different ways. Here is a brief, but by no means exhaustive list.

 

  •    I am enlightened and you are not.
  • I have been through some form of a formal biblical or theological training program, so I now I am an authority on spirituality.
  • I have been out of the country on short-term mission trip, so count on me to enlighten the rest of you that stayed home.
  • I experienced a life changing event that has proven to be very transformative. I am sorry that you have not had such an experience.
  • God has revealed himself to me in the form of some profound, life changing event. The rest of you are just not enlightened.

 

Actually, I have known a lot of people who are deeply spiritual.  I heard a story recently about a young girl who reads a children’s version of the Bible to her younger sister.  I believe her childlike humility is a reflection of authentic spirituality.  I think I could learn from her actions.

 

I have a friend at church who consistently sends card with kind notes to people.  I means she does it all of the time!  In my estimation, she too is a spiritual person.

 

I am aware of a gentleman that is spending part of his retirement volunteering at a benevolent food pantry that serves people in need of the basic necessities of life. He draws absolutely no attention to himself whatsoever. 

 

And I have known a handful of professors and teachers, and even a few ministers that possess substantial spiritual depth.  But they all have one thing in common. ...

 

They feel no need to tell you how bright they are or how much Scripture they know.  And….they love people where they are in life.  Such individuals are not condescending.  They do not address people in a patronizing manner. There is not even a hint of arrogance in their attitude.  They don’t look down on others that have not reached the “heights” they have in their journey. They are certainly not sarcastic or self-righteous.

 

I don’t like the terms “spiritual” and “spiritual depth.” They are often misapplied.  But I sure do like people that really are spiritual!!  What about you?   Are you modeling true spirituality to those closest to you?


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