Consider the following scenario: A young lady goes to a campfire devotional. As the Sun goes down, and the stars appear, she cannot help but notice the beauty of the night sky. As the evening grows darker, a campfire is built and everyone circles the campfire. One of the men present is selected to give a lesson, then he asks everyone to hold hands and sing a spiritual song. Next to this young lady is a young man to which she’s been attracted for some time. He takes her hand, and together they sing for the next fifteen minutes. As this young lady returns home that evening, she concludes that she had one of the most spiritual experiences of her life.
Now, here’s my question: “What made that the most spiritual experience of her life?” Was it the lesson that was taught? Was it the songs that were sung? Was it the beautiful night sky? Or was it the fact that she was holding hands with someone to whom she was attracted?” What made that experience any more “spiritual” than any given Sunday morning when gathered together to worship God?
My guess in answering that question would be, “the emotions that were felt,” and that precisely brings me to the point of this article. I’m not sure people understand what it means to be “spiritual.” The terms “spiritual” and “emotional” are not synonymous. Proof of this is seen in the fact that our emotions can equally be stirred by what is good as well as what is evil; by what is true as well as what is a lie. That which is spiritual is not determined by the way something makes one feel, but is determined by what God said.
In other words, something is spiritual because God said it is. It’s that simple. For example, one may submerge themselves in water throughout the Summer months in one’s own backyard pool. There’s nothing “spiritual” about that act. However, to perform this act with a view toward reenacting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus makes this event spiritual. Not because of the way one feels while doing it, but because God declared the later to be spiritual.
Spirituality is not determined by how an event makes one “feel,” but rather is determined by what God “said” about that event. Do you suppose the young lady in the scenario described may have arrived at the same conclusion if she was too immature to realize that the man who spoke taught false doctrine? Or do you suppose that her feelings might have been subdued a bit if the handsome young man next to her would not have held her hand?
Do not be deceived by things that are pawned off as spiritual, when in reality they’re only emotional. Remember, that which is spiritual is spiritual because God said it is, not because of the emotions it may be able to stir.
Give it some thought and leave comments if you have them.