When my wife and I worked at an inner city ministry I tried to be conscious of avoiding “church speak”. I wanted to express the gospel but do it in a way that didn’t sound like I was completely unaware that many of the people we encountered had never set foot in a church before.
Similarly, one of the reasons I started this blog was to show regular believers that growth in their spiritual life and becoming more like Christ was possible. Not only possible, but simple as well. So, I feel I need to offer some definitions and explanations for much of the language I have used on this blog so far. Here are two of the most common terms that Christian Life Hackers should understand:
spirit(uality) – Everyone has a spiritual side to their life whether or not they are a part of a particular religion. Our spirit is anything that is not physical. Our emotions, our choices, our dreams, our thoughts, and our intellect are all non-physical and thus a part of our spirit. So spirituality is a conscious awareness of our spirit and involves our efforts to work with and on this spiritual side of our selves. But, Christian spirituality involves all of the work that Jesus Christ is doing and has done to change our spirit to reflect the type of spirituality that he possessed when he was on this Earth.
Christian Spiritual Formation – Since we have already established that everyone is spiritual, then we must assume that everyone has been formed spiritually. From the child growing up in the ghetto to Donald Trump, everyone has been involved in Spiritual Formation. The distinction that needs to be made is Christian Spiritual Formation. The work that Christ does in the heart of the believer is more than just formation but more like transformation or even renovation. The heart that we have before knowing Christ is ruined and full of evil but by taking Christ into our lives and letting him change us from the inside out our heart begins to overflow with the aspects of Christ – otherworldly aspects such as peace, love, joy, faith, and hope. Complete transformation is impossible this side of heaven but with our heart indwelled by Christ and our willingness to let Christ work on us we can achieve unbelievable growth in our lives.
Note: Today is day one of my elimination project, or fast. I am eliminating sports from my life for the next week. Have you found something that has too much of a hold on you that you need to eliminate for a time? Go ahead and try living without this thing and be sure to let me know so we can work on this together.