While contemplating what I would like to write about for this week’s blog post, I realized that I hadn’t written anything related specifically to my faith or the Christian life in a while. Being a devoted Christian and future pastor, I tend to think and talk about faith often. It comes up a lot in my writing on this website. So I decided that this week, I wanted to write about something “spiritual.”
As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I got a bad feeling. “Something spiritual,” huh? What does that even mean? Do I have to force myself to write something directly about God, even if that’s not how I feel led this week? Are my other blog posts less meaningful because they’re not “spiritual?” These are the questions that came to mind.
I think these questions are the result of a false dichotomy that has taken root in American Christianity today. Christians often want to draw a line between what is “sacred” and what is “secular.” If a song is created by musicians who aren’t Christians, that song is “ secular” and not appropriate for certain contexts, even if it is a wholesome, challenging song. A blog post about an experience I had when I was 15 is considered “secular” because it doesn’t mention God. I admit that I’ve fallen prey to this mindset before, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to see that the world isn’t as black-and-white as some Christians would like it to be, and many of the things that we reject as “secular” can actually lead to real spiritual development if we let them.
The truth is that everything I do—whether it be writing a blog post, singing a song, or anything else—is rooted in and influenced by my faith, which is the central element of my identity. Yes, I’m spiritually awakened and challenged by worship music, but I can be equally drawn to God by a song by a non-Christian band about the need for social justice. Many (if not most) of the things we consider secular have spiritual value to them. The problem is that we try to strip them of this value, and therefore we don’t see it. But if we open ourselves up to seeing God everywhere, we’ll find him in places we never expected.
I would like to make something clear. I am not saying that every single thing in this world has spiritual value. There are certain things in this world that are evil and completely empty of the presence of God. These are things that should be avoided. I’m not suggesting we break down the barrier between good and evil, just the one between sacred and secular. I think there’s a huge difference between those two distinctions.
So yes, this week I did write “something spiritual,” even though I didn’t quote the Bible or offer any theological observations. If we truly believe that we can see God everywhere, we’ll find him wherever we look. So if my blog post about a life experience I had touches someone spiritually, I’m not going to complain. Even if some would call it “secular,” I believe it still has spiritual value. Everything we create has the potential to touch someone’s soul because we’re exercising our God-given gifts to reach out to others, and I think that’s pretty amazing.