Last night I heard it said in a small group, “Everyone wants to be spiritual!” It got me thinking, so this morning I began to put some thoughts on paper.
I think what the person implied was that generally speaking most people want to experience some sort of “spirituality” and with this I concur. Many people spend their lives searching out a mystic experience or something which will help them touch the supernatural.
I believe there is a vast difference between being spiritual and experiencing spirituality. I think one is biblical while the other is secular. The latter begins with man, often thinking that he has the spark of the divine within himself, reaching out to whatever he can find to express that which is within him. Hence we have the interest in, and seeming satisfaction from, New Age thinking, along with other Eastern philosophies and various forms of meditation. In essence he may not understand it but he is seeking God.
Biblical spirituality comes from God to man. This is God reaching down to man. Man cannot be truly spiritual without God’s Spirit within him, which only comes from the establishment of a personal relationship with him. This, as we know, is only available to man through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Once the relationship is established, then man becomes a spiritually alive person and can be considered spiritual.
I don’t think we can go far wrong from seeking to know what St. Paul meant by being spiritual. His version is simple. He indicates that it is the person who lives in the Spirit, is led by the Spirit and walks in step with the Spirit. Isn’t that the aim and aspiration of all Christians?