Xtreme Living – Part 3


Passive Spirituality

Congratulations! I knew spiritually dead was not for you!


So what’ll it be?


Joy filled?


Abundant Life?


A life full of adventure and intimacy with your creator?


What’s that?


You want to know if there’s an intermediate level or something?


A blue square?


No black diamonds for you just yet?


Well, I suppose there is, but it’s not much better than spiritually dead. Truly, I hesitate to even tell you about it.


Really, it’s not worth it…


but if you insist…


Is there a middle of the road spirituality? I suppose it depends on whom you ask. Ask most believers today and their life will tell you unequivocally, “YES. There is a mediocre type Christian and I’m it!” They’ll almost never say it out right, because the majority of them aren’t using the Word of God as a yardstick. Instead, they are using their own spiritual flowchart. It’s the comparison game! ß You may insert game show theme here.


For example, let’s say that Joe Shmoe made some sort of half-hearted profession when he was 12 or 13 years of age. He went to church with his family off and on until, at 18 he moved out on his own. From there, he traverses a little awkwardly through those rebellious (token) college years, meets another half hearted Christian (girl), dates her, fools around sexually, but “lucky” enough (or so they think) to emerge relatively consequence free, they marry, play most weekends, attend a fairly liberal church about six times a year, have kids and start telling themselves that they are probably doing okay in God’s eyes.


I know what some of you are thinking, come on, how could those people think they are doing okay¾what they’re doing is, NOTHING!


Well now, that depends on your perspective. Joe’s happens to be that, compared to most of his friends, family and neighbors, he’s at least holding his own in the “spiritual department.” In fact, he can hardly locate a single soul far and wide doing any more than he is. At the same time, he can still identify quite a few doing much less.


See how it works? The comparison game.


It works for most everyone. Start feeling a little convicted about how you are living and before you give in to that urge to change your life and actually live out the purposes to which you were created, you’ve quickly thought of uncle Dave or the Jones’ down the street, or even preacher Tom who had to resign his ministry position because he committed adultery!


Yeah, especially preacher, Tom.


Compared to him–a man singled out and entrusted with this great mission, you’re (Joe) looking pretty good. Before he (Joe) knows it, he’s shoved that nudging of the Holy Spirit back down to defcon 1 where it can easily be managed and soon forgotten.


Whew, that was a close one though, wasn’t it, (Joe)? But don’t stress too terribly much. The next time it won’t tug so hard and soon, if your real good at the comparison game, you won’t have to worry about feeling the nudging of the Holy Spirit at all! Just be careful each time God puts the focus and conviction on you to quickly (and I’m talking nanoseconds here, Joe) shift it to all those mediocre folks around you. You can do it, Joe. Your almost there even as we speak!


Maybe you think this is an inaccurate–perhaps, unfair call for this section on spirituality. I mean, Joe Shmoe sounds better than passive. Maybe you’re thinking, He’s not as bad as sooooo many others out there. He’s actually pretty good!


Isn’t there really a level or two below this?


You better have a level or two below this!!!


I mean a REAL level, not that dead thing.


I’m  out clicking now.


I’m canceling my subscription tomorrow.


Where’s the pathetic spirituality level?


I want a pathetic spirituality level.


Or at least anemic, or wimpy!




Take it easy, Joe. I really can’t talk to you when you get this way. Didn’t you even see it? Of course you didn’t. Loosen your deathgrip on the mouse a moment.


You’re going to be alright.


Now, take a deep breath.


Feel a little better?




No one ever does see it when they’re all caught up in it. But, you were just playing the game. The comparison game. You don’t think so?


Let me show you.


You want another level…why? So you can feel better about the one you’re at–better that you’re perhaps not as good as Billy Graham but certainly better than most. Good news, that’s ok, you’re normal. And if you get past this little hurdle, God has great things for you.


If it helps, I find myself at this lower level far too much and it disturbs me greatly. But, what I want is to be more than I am–to break my addiction to mediocrity and live out God’s purposes for my life. That honest desire pleases God. He loves to help those who ask for help.


So, seek on.


He’s waiting.