Christianity vs. spirituality

Spirituality has always been popular. But spirituality and Christianity are two VERY different things. Do you know why spirituality is so popular? Because it requires nothing of a person. To be spiritual, all you need is to do is just say you believe in a "higher being", "higher authority" or "higher power", trust you're going to Heaven based on your "good" deeds (i.e., attend a local church, give to charity, read the Bible, feed the hungry, help the poor, etc.) and just overall, feel good about yourself. But Christianity (that is to follow, resemble, and have the same character of Christ) requires everything...your very life. Why is this? Because Jesus Christ suffered and died to give us His righteousness and took on our unrighteousness, our sins, and our filth (2 Corinthians 5:21). Basically, by Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection, God has offered us a "trade"...Christ's righteousness for our unrighteousness. And as all trades go, a person must give up one thing entirely in order to gain the the other. In other words, you can't say you want Jesus and still desire the things of this world. You must choose - Christ or your sinful life in this sinful world. Don't just believe me, trust what Jesus Himself said in Mark 8:34-37:
"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the Gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

The word "Christian" means: Christ - "the anointed" and -ian - is a suffix that means, "with the same meaning and properties, resembling".

Therefore, a Christian is not someone who merely says they're a Christian, but is someone who has the same nature, character (meaning & properties) and resembles Christ. So how can you tell if someone is truly a Christian or just someone who is spiritual? Jesus says you can tell the difference by the "fruit" they bear. Essentially, the evidence in their lives that proves they are not of this world, just like Jesus is not of this world.

Jesus said in Luke 6:43-45
"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

So, who is the "good" person Jesus is talking about? He explains the definition of good in Mark 10:18,  " 'Why do you call me good? No one is good - except God alone.' " Then Jesus goes on to explain to this man what he must do to gain eternal life in Mark 10:19-21.

You see, just like many of us, this man thought he could gain eternal life, acceptance of a holy, good, perfect and just God by performing "good deeds". Although it's impossible for this man or any of us to keep even one of the commandments in God's perfect law on our own, Jesus doesn't argue with him. Instead, Jesus reveals what is truly in the man's heart by bringing out the first commandment ("You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3) when Jesus said, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me.”(Mark 10:21) This man's god was not the LORD, it was money, it was the things of this world that money could buy (Matthew 6:24). He wasn't seeking God, he was seeking to gain everything just for his own benefit, everything of this world, and everything in Heaven....just like Satan. The nature of Satan is the desire to gain everything for himself and to exalt himself for his pleasure alone, regardless of whether or not it hurts others or condemns them to Hell. And that is the nature of spirituality, it is the nature of Satan, not the nature of God.

However, the nature of Christ is of sacrificial love. Jesus loves us with a pure, holy love - agape love. Love that never considers self-benefit, but only that which benefits the object of His love. And the good news is that the object of God's love is us...all those whom He has called to Himself. You see, God doesn't "need" us. We don't increase the goodness of God and we don't make Heaven a better place. God is God. He is sovereign (He has total control and power), God is all good and He's already perfect and holy. God already has everything. It isn't His privilege for us to serve and trust our lives to Him. It's our privilege to be truly saved and live our lives trusting Jesus alone. By doing this, we have the privilege of living with purpose, a holy purpose - we have the opportunity to live beyond ourselves! WOW!!! Who wouldn't love a God like that?! And who wouldn't want to know Him and enjoy Him forever?!

So don't settle for mere spirituality that only makes you feel good for a time, yet provides no hope and no way to true eternal life. Instead trust in Jesus Christ and live above your own means. For only in Christ is there hope and eternal life - because Jesus alone is The Way (John 14:6).