What Makes Someone Spiritual?

It’s become a bit of a buzzword in the last decade or so to talk of spirituality (no doubt it has been talked about for a 1000 years).

From Oprah to Deepak Choprah to Eckhart Tolle…which I’m convinced are all Oprah in disguise…spirituality is a money maker. But what does it make of people? spiritual-healer6

What happens when you add Christian as an adjective to spirituality? What is Christian spirituality?

For most of my life I equated spirituality with Bible/theology smarts. He or she who knew the most MUST be the most spiritual.

I should have learned from seminary that smart does not spiritual make. Some of the smartest people I’ve known, the most impressive intellects, are not what anyone would call spiritual.

So what is spiritual in the Christian faith?

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...

The apostle Paul talks about this fruit–singular–as being the “fruit of the Spirit.” If the Holy Spirit is alive and active within your life, this is the kind of person you will be, a spiritual person.

You can have zero ability to work with the Greek or Hebrew text of the Bible, no understanding of world religions, and understand none of the God-talk that happens in seminaries and yet be the most spiritual person within a 100-square miles. Having money won’t help you be spiritual; in fact, it may hurt. Driving a Prius won’t make you any more spiritual. Eating organic, while healthy, isn’t spiritual.

Spiritual ends up being the relational overflow of a fundamental overhaul via the gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, that fruit is unnatural. It’s going to take something outside of us/you/me to have any chance of being a fruitful–spiritual–person.

Go with God.

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