Hearing but Not Listening

One should always be wary of generalisations, and moralising, but… there is a tendency nowadays to see spirituality as almost a hobby. And for some it is simply an avoidance of what they know, deep down, is their moral duty before God. Jesus said: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find any faith…?”

“I am spiritual without being religious!” Oh?

This mantra of so many in our world today,

Is perhaps understandable, given religion’s

Record, but is all too often an empty cliche.


Likewise: “I don’t need to go to church

To believe in God!” Are you quite sure?

If we privatise our faith, then where will

The next generation read God’s brochure?


Shouldn’t we be thankful that so many

Are open to a transcendent world view?

Any sense of God is surely good, given

We’re in an increasingly secular milieu?


“I would that you were hot or cold, but

You are lukewarm, so I vomit you out

Of my mouth!” Strong words indeed,

From a loving God? What’s that about?


God is saying He prefers the honesty

Of an atheist to a holy hypocrite’s laud.

He’s more impressed by those who live

In love, than by choruses of ‘Lord! Lord!’


Such slogans are in fact just a cop out:

Coy denials of what it means to believe.

A case of claiming to hear but not really

Listening – little more than spiritual sleaze.


Discipleship of the living God brings cost;

And cost translates to cross. Marching to

The sound of His drum means we’re often

Out of step with the fashionable world view.


Discipleship also means attending church:

Jesus created His Church as more than

Mutual support – as the very sacrament of

His presence, and servant of the Kingdom.


“All church goers are hypocrites!” Really?

In my experience, they’re just decent folk,

Conscious of their need and spiritual thirst,

Feeling they’re no better than the next bloke.


And if your church is failing you, know that

God doesn’t give permission to walk away.

Stay and help one another discern His word:

Pray and fast that the Spirit will hold sway.


True spirituality means being honest with

Oneself, prepared to part with our fondest

Prejudices, and see through outward forms:

To put on the mind of Christ, the acid test.


True spirituality isn’t a cosy comfort blanket:

Sourced in humility, it’s all about witnessing.

Awareness of God as Other, and saying with

Daniel: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening!”