When have you experienced spirituality competition among Christians? How have you been tempted to participate in those competitions?
Have you caught yourself dismissing life's pains (and life's good gifts) in an effort to out-out-spiritualize others? How might you live more honestly?
I'm More Spiritual than You Are
"Vindicate me, God,
"Now concerning the matters about which you wrote, 'It is well for a man not to touch a woman.'" - 1 Corinthians 7: 1
Reading the New Testament letter of 1 Corinthians is a little like reading someone else's mail. The Corinthians have written to their now-absent founder, Paul, about a host of hot topics. Like sex.
Here Paul writes back. He begins by quoting from their letter. They have written, "It is well for a man not to touch a woman." At least some of the Corinthians were always trying to out-spiritual everyone else. Here they bid to one-up others by giving up sex.
Perhaps surprisingly, Paul says no, bad idea. He says sex is good. It's a normal, natural part of marriage. Don't give it up.
For some in every age, spirituality seems to mean turning your back on the world, on life. It means giving up a lot of stuff because you're so enlightened you kind of live in the clouds, not on earth.
Christian spirituality isn't that spiritual, or at least, it isn't that kind of spiritual. It is a spirituality that enjoys life's good gifts—good food, good wine, good friends, good sex.
Spirituality doesn't, for us, mean "out of this world," but living more deeply and gratefully as a part of the good world God has made.
Grant us the wisdom, O God, to enjoy life's good gifts, including our bodies. Amen.