Monday, February 8, 2016

The Slump

I call it 'the slump'. It's something that happens spiritually to Christians that can have paralyzing effects. Many refer to it as spiritual dryness. Some feel it as a lack of connectivity with God or apathy toward the things of the Kingdom.  Sometimes it scares them. On other occasions I think it goes unnoticed.

My first advice for those in this situation has always been to seek out Christ. He is the source of life for all of us that believe. Sometimes this works. For some it does not.

Having thought about this some more, I have come to other conclusions that might be more to the point. Maybe it's not spiritual dryness at all that afflicts my brethren. Maybe it's just bad brain chemistry.

I am not making a joke here. And I am not trying to minimize the affliction, but sometimes something in our lives will change that creates this dryness. Something is gone that was there or something is there that was not there before the dryness. 

Let me be clear. I am not talking about myself here. I am always dry. I do not have the normal range of feelings and emotions that others do. I may have mentioned that I had to learn empathy, sympathy and other emotions to be able to function in life and as a Christian. I know this is weird and it points to my brokenness, but I'm OK with it. I seem to enjoy other abilities and I am learning to use them. This is good. Christ is helping me with my sociopathy. Also, for me, spirituality has never been connected to emotion. It can produce emotion and even point to what I should be feeling in a given situation, but for me it is not an emotional issue. For others, this is not the case.

How people feel is directly connected to their spiritual state. I am not sure why this would be. I think people mistake feelings as some sort of spiritual experience. If you are one of those, then expect a spiritual roller coaster. The key to spirituality in my mind rests in the ability to be able to separate the emotions from the spiritual. My prejudice here is that rationality rules spirituality. The ability to sort out the mess, compartmentalize an issue and deal with it rationally (even though what's going on may not be rational) is the key to spiritual success. For me, if I am content, I have achieved a spiritual state...but I digress

If you are a Christian out there today experiencing spiritual dryness, maybe there is another more organic cause that you have not explored. You may laugh at some of these ideas, but as a victim of bad brain chemistry, I can tell you, they all make a difference.

Has your diet changed. What we eat can determine how we feel and we can confuse those feelings for spiritual issues.

What has changed in your life? Is your partner perhaps not feeling well for whatever the reason? As part of who you are, your partner has a major effect on both your emotions and your spirituality. If their health or mental health or spiritual state is not good, yours will suffer too. Whether you realize it or not, their conditions effect your conditions because your lives are tied together in every way. If they suffer, you will suffer too.

Yes, it's true. I know nothing about that from a personal perspective, but I am a keen observer. I have seen the travails of partnered people. Y'all are like a two headed animal. I will say no more.

Lastly, mental illnesses can create spiritual havoc unless you learn to deal with the illness. For years I mistook my near bipolar state for a spiritual issue. It is not. Brain chemistry. Do not let it trick you.

None of this changes what I said originally. All life for us Christians comes from Christ, even when we are feeling bad or we 'think' we are in a spiritually dry period. Just remember....when you cannot depend on your spiritual mind to motivate you, do the right things anyway simply because you know they are right. Never mind how you feel. Feelings come and go. Motivation comes and goes. Practice some spiritual discipline. Do what is right.

I love you.    

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