February 11, 2016
Some quick thoughts for the day…
Part of our human condition is that our focus seems to be mostly inward. Self is first and foremost. We still love God but our thoughts of God are aimed more toward what God can do for “me.” Jesus seems to teach that we must grow out of that line of thought, and move on to a higher stage of spiritualty.
At this stage of spiritual growth we do pretty well when our life is on the upswing, but even then we are more concerned with how God will continue to bless us. This is often evident by the comments of people saying what God and the church mean to them.
I feel good when I go to church
What can the church offer me
Why did God allow that to happen
On and on it could go, and usually those types of comments reveal an attitude towards God of “What’s in it for me?”
And that question reveals a spiritual growth problem.
Bernard of Clairvoux , a 12th Century monk did a study of spiritual growth among people. He defined four areas of focus on spiritual growth. The second stage of spiritual growth he defined as “The love of God for self’s sake.” And it was his opinion, from interviewing lots of people, that the majority of people never got past this stage.
If that is true, what it means is that many people are stuck within the view that God will “fix my problems, make my life better, and give me good things…that the church exists to meet my needs.”
If that is our view we are stuck in stage two, the love of God for self’s sake.
At this time of Lent as we follow Jesus’ life to the cross how does that speak to us/