Many people are spiritual-minded but avoid spirituality discussions for good reasons. It may surprise many of the Christian faith that when Jesus was asked how to have eternal life, He simply said to love God and love others as yourself (Lk.10:25-27). This is not exactly a typical evangelistic spiel. God is not egotistical but Jesus understood loving God is being empowered to love others to the fullest. Few object to the notion of treating others like you want to be treated, so we must have discussions without all the trappings of supposed sacred beliefs.
Followers of Christianity may deter people from spiritual discussions because of the goal to convert others to their religion and beliefs. People often reject dogmatic beliefs rather than the message of loving your neighbor as yourself with the help of God. Jesus’ interactions with others didn’t suggest that God had a litmus test of beliefs. Jesus’ only sacred belief was that our Creator loves and forgives us in hopes to inspire us to act the same toward others. Jesus taught God seeks to empower us toward a life of doing good and shunning evil. People don’t need to be converted; people need to be encouraged to have conversations how to love in their relationships.
Followers of Christianity also deter people by how they conduct business. The Bible does not encourage divisions among followers – Baptists, Methodists, Protestants, Catholics, etc. Religious people fight over their different doctrines, yet all supposedly believe in the same message of loving your neighbor as yourself. Why would anyone seeking spiritual guidance seek help from people that can’t get alone? We have enough conflict in our families, friendships, and places of work. Christianity or any religion is better off without buildings with names on them. We simply need people meeting with one another to encourage each in their spiritual walk.
Some many reject God because portrayals don’t make moral or relational sense. Some insist God is a sadistic torturer by insisting Hell is real in the Bible. Some religious suggested God is gender bias by insisting men have authority over women. Biblical interpretations that don’t convey what a loving God should be like are suspect. All are capable of knowing what a loving God is like similar to knowing right from wrong. God is not some immoral, irrational Being. Views of God must be discussed gracefully so each may work out their own convictions. Interpretations are fallible so we mustn’t declare our opinions are the truth. We should focus on the message of how we can we love others in a troubled world with the help of one another and God.
Those who don’t pursue God are often accused of being internally rebellious. I suggest the main reasons may be because of the way spirituality is presented and lived out. Spiritual conversations are as important as physical or emotional health conversations, but one’s goal to convert or push certain beliefs deters such exchanges. It is also important that spiritual minded people who wish to encourage others confess wrongdoing, seek forgiveness, and make necessary amends in relationships. We need to stop judging others, if they aren’t violating the rights of others, and focus on living up to our own standards. If one is looking for an excuse to not be more spiritual-minded, hang for me a day for I never live out my values completely. But, we aren’t going to believe in any cause if we are waiting for others to fail.
I doubt anyone who has read this lacks character. I just am convinced having a spiritual compass is essential in our relationships and making for a better world. I am not normally a bad guy but I am a better person because of having a spiritual focus. I believe I had more success as a parent because I sought to emulate God who doesn’t control for the sake of authentic relationships. I have messed up in my marriage, but God has taught me the importance of confessing, taking responsibility and making amends as best I could. I am not quite sure how to explain but a relationship with God, who loves and forgives us, can inspire us to act the same toward others, to not give up being an encourager than discourager, to not give up doing good and shunning evil.