Today, I want to write about something counter-intuitive: to improve your spiritual life, you need to stop focusing on your spiritual life.
And, here is what I mean by that…
When we talk about our “spiritual life,” we often mean things like serving, reading our Bible, going to church, having a quiet time in the morning and so on. In essence, we have a list of things that are “spiritual” and try to do them more or deeper.
But, if you’ve ever tried this, it honestly doesn’t often work all that well. It might help for a little bit, but often quickly sputters out. And, I think the reason it doesn’t work is because we’ve bought into a lie that there is something called “our spiritual life.”
But, there is no such thing as a “spiritual life” – there is just life!
Because, in the Bible, things aren’t split up into two categories: spiritual and real life. It’s all one. The Bible doesn’t split our lives up into spiritual and non-spiritual, but when we do, we run into problems.
Because here is the thing: your “spiritual life” will never improve while you ignore the rest of your life. God isn’t interested in just your prayer time and Bible reading plans; He’s interested in all of you and your entire life. How you treat your co-workers matters just as much as attending church. The things you purchase matter just as much as your Bible knowledge. Your forgiveness toward those who have hurt you matters just as much as you serving in kid’s ministry.
Are you seeing the point?
If we want to improve our “spiritual life,” we need to improve all of our lives as a whole. We need to not just focus on reading the Bible more, but living it out in each and every moment. Mondays through Saturdays matter just as much as Sundays. We can’t live divided lives and then expect to grow.
Thomas Merton puts it this way, “If you want to have a spiritual life, you must unify your life.”
You can’t have a spiritual life; you can only have a whole life.
Now, of course, reading your Bible, Sundays, church, serving and prayer all matter immensely. But, the rest of our lives matter too. When we miss that fact, we will get stuck.
So, this week, focus not just on your spiritual life, but on living and responding to God in every aspect of your life. When you start to value each aspect of your life, you might find that God is a part of it all, and that all of it is spiritual.