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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spiritual Adultery

There is a Biblical concept that I wonder if modern day Christians are really conscious of. I'm talking about the concept of spiritual adultery. I know, that sounds like strong language. Some of you may be thinking, "There he goes again, being radically judgmental." But really, I'm not. God Himself uses the notion of spiritual adultery when talking about half-hearted followers, back sliders, etc. (A good example can be found in Ezekiel 23.)

So what is spiritual adultery? Let's consider the concept of adultery. Notice that sexual adultery, for example, doesn't occur between people who aren't married or committed to each other. It becomes adultery when someone gives their heart (or body) to one to which it does not belong. The intimacy that was pledged to one is then given to another. And this is how God feels about it when it is our spiritual life.

The first thing we need to understand about spiritual adultery is that it is committed by God's own people. In today's vernacular, we would call them Christians or Christ-followers. They've committed their lives to Jesus Christ. And then they have lived lives that betray those commitments.

Are there spiritual adulterers today? And if so, what other gods are they focused on? Of course there are no other gods in a Christian world view. But there are any number of things that can take the place of the one true God in our lives. And when they do, it becomes spiritual adultery.

What are those things? Jobs, careers, marriages, children, relationships, roles we play (such as Mom, ministry leader, etc.) and more. Of course money and material possessions can easily take center stage in our lives. So can popularity, entertainment, sports and hobbies. Do you know someone who has a "football god," or a "sports car god" in their lives? Do you know a Christian who spends more time reading celebrity gossip rags than they do reading their Bible? If so, then you're acquainted with a spiritual adulterer!

The point is that God wants to be first in our lives. In face, He insists on it. So if we spend time listening to or focusing on anything more than we do Him, He considers it adultery on our part. It is that simple.

So when we talk about being faithful to God, think about it in terms of being faithful in any other relationship. Put in that context, it's a very simple and easy-to-understand concept. Let's not be spiritual adulterers.

1 comment:

  1. Too often the rush of things in this life obscure my relationship with God. I fail to let everything else go and find myself pulled along. We are to be beholding to Him. I believe you can only reflect His glory when you are close to Him.