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The Spiritual High, Good or Bad?

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The spiritual high – that rush of emotions when you feel something take over you after that hard-hitting talk took hold… you decide to recommit; read the bible every day; stop your life of putting sin first and place God first; and you inevitably fail. I am not against a spiritual high, nor am I against the emotional response present at many events, as long as the spiritual Christian at that given moment is not a merely facade.

Don’t live off spiritual highs

“Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” (Matthew 13:5-6).

After an event I find myself greeted with emotional responses, but some of the people that encourage me to keep on loving Jesus fall back into the life they previously lived. In the parable of the sower, Jesus explains this by saying that these people lacked foundation or ‘soil’, and consequently ‘withered’. I believe the reason was that they were never truly looking for Jesus, but were looking for the emotional response from the music or from the charismatic speaker. Seek God himself, not just the sentiment of spirituality.

However, the spiritual high can be a good thing, if used the right way. During your spiritual high, use it to start reading to the bible, if your prayer life is faltering, restart it. The week after the big event you will feel like you can do anything. When the spiritual high dies out, make sure you are held accountable by your fellow peers to keep loving God. Start setting times each day which you can dedicate to prayer, or read the bible. Once you stop this arrangement, you stop until your next spiritual high. If you are a new Christian, start going to a youth group with a friend, get into your School/University Christian group, and start attending church weekly. Stay committed and faithful, and become firmly rooted with Christ. He is our – for lack of a better word – cornerstone.

No, don’t pray for the spiritual high to ‘never leave’

After every event, I hear the same prayer or see the same post every time, let this high never leave. The spiritual high is not what we seek out of a big event, it’s the joy of seeing others renew, initiate, and strengthen their relationship with our God.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:8-13).

Paul here says that you don’t need a spiritual high to keep your relationship going with Jesus. Get used to a life where the next Hillsong conference/KYCK/Nextgen/RICE Rally/Church Camp isn’t your only way to reconnect with Jesus. Instead, be content in every situation because you have the Holy Spirit within you and can be fed by the word of God and the sacraments of the church.

 

This is an adaptation of Timothy Tang’s original blog post, found here. Timothy Tang is a highschool student rooted in the Reformed faith that likes to read, watch videos and play games. 

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