On the first counseling appointment, we try to assess a person’s spiritual condition… specifically, where are they in their relationship with Christ?
One chilling response always concerns me, “I consider myself a spiritual person.” It sounds harmless but I’ve found that clients who voice that view are often very difficult to connect with. They voice it with a tinge of pride and consider it a positive factor but I’ve often seen it to be otherwise.
Why is that?
Those who see themselves as spiritual have typically explored many avenues in that realm. They are usually sensitive to the unseen world, much like a tuned radio antenna. The challenge is that they pick up so many signals that discerning the source can be the issue. They have likely read books and watched videos about different religions (which is not bad) and often dabbled in various endeavors so that knowledge can open doors to experiences.
They typically hold the view that all (or many roads) can lead to God. The exclusivity of Jesus claim that he alone was the way, the truth and the life runs counter to what they believe.
They have come for counseling because of a real need in their lives and are wiling to give Jesus, and a trained counselor, the opportunity to help them out.
One fundamental difference about Jesus and his call is that we are to become followers and disciples of us, to the exclusion of all else. We have an opportunity to develop a relationship with the one true living God and that calls for commitment and choices on our part.
The Narrow Road to Life
He is a jealous God, which means that no other gods are to be before us and that He wants us on the lone, narrow road that leads to life (Matthew 7:14).
Those who have explored, and not yet rejected, the other roads are very difficult to lead and counsel. They want to fold other beliefs into the mix, which is the essence of new age, and getting through to them can be a challenge.
The message of Christ can sound very exclusionary and divisive if one believes in tolerance and acceptance of other religions. We can love the person and respect their views without compromising on the truths in God’s word.
The bible says that the enemies of our soul (demons) rarely show themselves as they truly are, but come as wolves in sheep’s clothing. While this is frequently and rightfully applied to people, I believe it also relates to the voices and inklings we gain from the spirit realm.
Not every door has been opened by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the enemy can create opportunities and initiate relationships and religious pursuits also.
If you, or someone you know, is a self-described spiritual person then rejoice in the sensitivity to that realm! However, it is important to be aware that it is easy to be deceived by all the new age (or worse) teachings that would try to portray alternate paths to God and to eternal life.
Being overtly “spiritual” is not necessarily a blessing unless discernment comes with it! Jesus said that the gate to life (him) was small and the road was narrow. There is a broad road that leads to destruction and many are on it, all the while thinking that they are on the road to life.
Does this opinion ring true with you or do you think I am way off base?