Overspiritualizing

A few months ago, I went to Pilar, Cebu with some friends. It’s a small but beautiful island among a few (called Camotes Islands) between Leyte and Cebu. We have to ride a big bangka (wooden boat) to get there.

It had a second floor. When I settled upstairs, I noticed a man shouting while walking around. Dirty long sleeves. Funny Visayan English. Apparently, he’s “preaching”. We should repent. The judgment is coming. And apparently, no one is listening to him. Each is looking his way to the sea, not on the corrider where he was walking to and fro. Then after his fiery sermon, he sang “Seek Ye First” and passed an envelope around. Guilt appeal: “Those who are changed should give for God’s kingdom.”

Money.

But how many times do we talk about the Bible, but our purposes are actually selfish? We could all cite instances when we sound so spiritual in our words, take Bible verses in different light. And we feel good, even though we shouldn’t be.

Hey, I’m not saying we’re hypocrites. We might just be overspiritualizing.

I read about a Christian woman who goes to the market. She says to the vendor, “Praise God, hallelujah, please give me two kilograms of pork, in Jesus’ name!”

That’s using the name of the Lord in vain!

But how many times are we like that? How many times have we sounded so spiritual? “Thank God, my teacher missed some mistakes on my test paper. I wanted to tell her, but I didn’t, so I fortunately passed!” “I have a  prayer request. Did you know that Mr. so and so is flirting with…?”

Jesus once said,

“These people give me honour with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8

Even I am guilty of that. We post “People Need the Lord” as a status in Facebook, where we spend hours each day, but we can’t even spend 15 minutes to witness to a dear friend.

How many of us say we are praying fervently for someone to be our life partner? We constantly say that we want to seek God’s answers. However, we stop right there and forget about maturing. My teacher in Rural Sociology quoted about marriage, “Marriage isn’t so much finding the right person, than being the right person yourself.”

Or have you tried sending this verse in a love letter…

“I love you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3)

…but we can’t. It’s God who said that and it’s just Him who can do that.

Not that saying things about God is wrong. I think we try to “spiritualize” things to feel good, but forget to check our lives, if we are really walking faithfully with the Lord.

The key there is balance. Our God is a God of balance. He created day and night. Sun and moon. So, we should be balance our walk and our talk.

I think it’s not wrong if we say we are serious about finding a Godly spouse (I believe, those who seek shall find). However, we should be careful that we don’t “overspiritualize” our judgments. God has given us a “sound mind”, not just “God, this and that” but it’s not mentioned in Scriptures.

Overspiritualizing things can even turn off others. “Wow, he’s a fanatic.” Or have your officers prayed for what color to use in the church’s bulletin board?

But by saying things about God in place, and backing it with a God-glorifying life, that’s when we hit the mark. It’s the Holy Spirit controlling us—filling us—that makes us spiritual. The godliness that radiates from a Spirit-filled life is not OA. Carnality cannot fake that. It’s a “sweet-smelling savor” that pleases and draws others nearer to Him.

So let’s ask the Holy Spirit to fill us each day. He’ll control our lives if we’re willing so we can glorify God with our lips and hearts. He’ll also bring balance to our lives.

Have you been “overspiritualizing” lately? It’s good to talk Christian but we should keep our lives in check. Glorify God. Make the right decisions. Talking about things in a Christian way doesn’t excuse mediocrity, vanity and sin. Nor does it excuse us when we forget to use common sense.

Study God’s word and know how to use it properly. And then balance.

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