Monday, March 22, 2010

Spirituality is Not the Same for Everyone (Part 1)

“the common people heard Him (Jesus) gladly” (Mark 12:37)

Common People

It is no accident that Jesus was raised in a backwater town and used simple illustrations to teach profound truths. It is no accident that He used the common street language of His day, Aramaic, to teach God’s Word rather than classical Greek – which was far more eloquent but way beyond the grasp of the common man.

When Jesus burst onto the scene, He confronted a religious system that saw God as being inaccessible for the common man. Spirituality was reserved for the elite – the chosen – those with pedigree, education, and a commitment to rigid self-discipline.

Instead, He offered a different path to spirituality, one that farmers, fishermen, carpenters, tax collectors, prostitutes, even little children and common sinners could follow.

He raised the bar of righteousness, but lowered the bar of entry.

Today, in our zeal to honor and know God we have re-raised the bar of spirituality with definitions beyond the reach of common men and women – and more importantly, beyond the heights set by God Himself.

One of my biggest regrets as a Christian was being too hard on myself in the early days of my spiritual journey. I once thought that true spirituality at its highest level was out of reach for most, so I worked all the harder to attain it. I formed rigid ideas about what a disciple is supposed to look like. Suddenly, “I” became the standard by which all others were measured. This caused me to preach stricter, meaner, and harder.

I’m glad I outgrew it.

If you don’t fit the mold of religion; if you’re tired of adjusting to other people’s definitions of spirituality; if traditional spiritual disciplines just are not working for you; but your desire is to know God more, you are not alone.

I invite you to come back to this blog each day and discover what spirituality for the common person looks like.

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