What does a spiritual life look like? How do we know if we are spiritual? How can we tell if someone else is spiritual?
Is spirituality really necessary? Is it necessary to know about someone else’s spirituality?
The answer to the last two questions is YES, it is necessary. The answer to the first three is fraught with difficulty. This article seeks to alleviate some of the difficulty while acknowledging that complete elimination of the difficulties is next to impossible.
The Greek word translated “spiritual” is used 26 times in the New Testament. (You can bypass this article and gain much insight simply by reading and meditating on each of those verses.)
It is necessary for us to determine what spirituality looks like, because of the passage under consideration in this series on the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 6:1 tells us that the restoration of someone overtaken in a fault is to be restored by those who are spiritual. Obviously, therefore, recognizing spirituality is a prerequisite for this tender endeavor.
I recently read someone’s comment that they point out people’s blind spots. They used Gal. 6:1 as justification for their critical nature. (I’ve known this person for more than 40 years.) Pointing out “blind spots” is not restoration, and is not being spiritual.
Gal. 6:1 follows directly after the listing of the fruit of a spiritual life, which follows after a listing of the works of the flesh. So, there is no change in thought in what Paul is writing about. He is now telling us what a spiritual person should do.
It is in the contrast of the “carnal/spiritual” where we gain the greatest insight as to what a spiritual person looks like.
You know the feeling you have when you are looking for something that you can’t really describe. You know when you see it. You also know when it’s NOT it.
The same is true here. We can tell what spirituality is not by observing the listings of the carnal person.
This is important, because we allow many people to influence our lives who are more carnal than they are spiritual. This is a dangerous practice, because what we are is imparted to others much moreso than what we say. Truth is imparted life to life, not mind to mind. (1 Cor. 15:33)
So, the evidence of carnality should be a warning. The lack of carnality, however, is not solid proof of spirituality.
Many think that because I know so much about the Bible that I am therefore spiritual. That has little or nothing to do with spirituality. I could do that simply with my intellect. Going to church regularly doesn’t prove one spiritual. Praying doesn’t prove one spiritual. Obeying the commandments doesn’t prove one spiritual. All these things may be tools to aid in the development of spirituality, but they are not proof that one is truly spiritual.
The proof of spirituality is in the visible fruit of a spiritually centered life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control.
What do each of these look like?
Is it necessary for one to possess all nine of these in order to be considered spiritual?
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Have a godly day.
Gal. 5:22 tells us what a spiritual person looks like.