Thinking Out Loud

June 23, 2018

What Excites You, Spiritually?

Filed under: Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:44 am

passionsA few years ago my wife and I were in contact with someone who grew up in a Christian home and had made a profession of faith, but was exploring the teachings of other religions. We disagreed somewhat about the seriousness of this. She felt the exploration was healthy; I was worried about this person (a) spending too much time on this in comparison to time reading the Bible or devotional material and/or (b) drifting from the faith altogether.

I don’t mind if a person wants to look at the other options. It’s certainly foundational to any training in apologetics or even informal talks with people who have a different perspective. I would even go so far as to say that if you’re reading this blog, and you’ve spent your whole life in the Christian bubble, you might want to read up on what other faith systems believe and teach.

Rather, I was concerned more because of I saw this very much energizing the person in question. We all have hobbies and interests — some short term and others longer — but what matters to me is what causes a person’s eyes to light up. While I will admit to a lifetime of failings in this regard, Jesus should be that which generates our greatest passion.

What consumes you? Here are some questions we’ve run a few times on the blog, though not lately:

  1. What’s the first thing you think about when you get up in the morning?
  2. What do you talk about when it’s your chance to control the conversation?
  3. What things have become the object your discretionary spending?
  4. If you could save one or two things before your house burned down, what would those things be?
  5. What do you want your life to be remembered for?

While this list is incomplete, it helps us to pinpoint the things that matter to us.

I’m generally not a big user of The Four Spiritual Laws approach, but I’m always aware of one particular image from the booklet. The dots in the diagram below represent our various hobbies and interests. In the previous panel to the one below they are somewhat random and different sizes and shapes, but when Christ takes control (i.e. on ‘the throne of our life’) the interests are ‘in harmony.’

Life in Balance - Christ Directed Life

I don’t agree that these interests are all of equal size necessarily — after all these years of blogging I still think I love music more than I love writing — but I like the idea of balance, and the idea of these things subject to Christ’s control.

We are very much defined by our passions, our position and our possessions. I think there’s a difference between an interest in something beyond the realm of Christian activity, and an unhealthy obsession about it.

Each one of us is, at any one moment in time, moving closer to the cross or moving away from the cross. I guess I’m erring on the side of caution because I don’t like to see what looks like someone moving further from the cross.


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1 Comment »

  1. I believe if your heart and mind are centered daily in Christ you will find your interest and hobbies naturally bring you closer not further from Christ. Several years ago my brother invited me to explore the Bahai faith. Their initial claim was my belief in Jesus Christ was totally compatible with their beliefs. I soon found they and my brother didn’t understand the totality of my belief. Jesus was simply a prophet to them under further inspection. I rejected their ideas though they were the most pleasant people I’d met.
    The reason I could reject what they were saying was my true faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior. If I have a daily Christ-centered point of reference in all I do, I believe that is putting on the full armor of God. However I would not go where I would be ashamed for Christ to find me. I had the opportunity to share with that faith the reason for my strong belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior. It was a personal deep witnessing to those there. I don’t know if anyone was swayed by what I said, but I know my belief never felt tested…..only validated.

    Comment by Phyllis Rogers — June 23, 2018 @ 12:03 pm


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