Avoiding Toxic Spirituality

Speaker: Edmund Chan
Date: 2012/03/25
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As we learn to abide in the Lord, we begin to understand that there is nothing here on earth that we should desire more than God.  Our focus is on our inner life rather than the world around us.  In order for us to cultivate our inner life, we must learn Spiritual Formation.

But what is Spiritual Formation?

Spiritual Formation is the intention, communal process of nurturing the spiritual person in the likeness of Christ, by the power of a Spirit-filled life, so as to fulfill the will of God concerning us.

There are several components of Spiritual Formation:

  1.  It is intentional.
  2. It is communal.
  3. It is the nurturing of the spiritual person in the likeness of Christ.
  4. It is dependent on the power of a spirit-filled life.
  5. It is done in order to fulfill the will of God.

There are however hindrances that can rob us of this.  This is what we call Toxic Spirituality.

  1. Serving without joy.
  2. Performing without rest.
  3. Working without worship.
  4. Devotion without discipleship.
  5. Rituals without reality.

We have to realize that we cannot go through spiritual formation on our own.  We need the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and the support of a spiritual family.  But all these will start with a relationship with God – a relationship that will become an avenue for transformation.  Along the road of this transformation however, we will encounter trials and challenges that can become our Toxic Spirituality.  We have to be wary and watch out for these things – but in all things we have to depend on God – for grace, the courage, the wisdom and even the strength to sustain us as we journey through our transformation.

*Artwork from CCF Manila