Welcome back to Episode 3 of True Spirituality. Remember that True Spirituality Is Not Determined By How You Act In Church, But By How You Treat Other People. There are 3 key components to this and let’s get to the first one: True Spirituality Is Evidenced By Love.
2. True Spirituality is Evidenced by Empathy.
What is empathy? According to the dictionary it is: “The capacity to identify with a person or object.” In other words, it is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes—to see things from his or her point-of-view. In discussing the matter of eating food that has been sacrificed to idols, remember that Paul has already stated that it is not a sin. Then he goes on to say in verse 9: “But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.”
You’ve got to look at everything you do in light of how it affects everyone else. It’s about being able to recognize the impact your actions have on others. Each of us has a sphere of influence where we make an impact either for the better or the worst of that person. This can be hard to decipher as to what actually hurts a younger believer. Remember that this passage is about a younger believer questioning their faith, not yours.
What you may see as being innocent and nothing wrong, it may hurt a new believer. And not just our actions—but our words as well. Our words can sting and hurt and beat down someone. True spirituality is evidenced by empathy—being able to see the world from another’s point-of-view. We must give thought to how our actions affect those around us. We must learn to see the world through the eyes of others.
Here is what I have observed in my few 61 years of walking planet earth. Most “young-the-faith” Christians have been led away more with our attitudes and words than our actions–i.e., what we do. I loathe that saying, nay, LIE, that adults often tell children. You know the one I’m talking about: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me.”
Here’s a great image of what true empathy looks like in practice:
Live out of these 4 elements and you will be developing true and deep spirituality.
So use your realm of influence to show more of the “thou shalts” than the “thou shalt nots”. Maturity and holiness is not measured by how many of the “thou shalt nots” you keep. It is measured by your love and remember that love is an action verb.
Tomorrow we will continue this journey, and until then, remember: Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!