EMOTIONAL weakness takes us rapidly into spiritual attack, and without attending to the issues at hand we may quickly resort to becoming a spiritual kamikaze.
Recall the Japanese Zeros of the Second World War, and their pilots, so committed to the Japanese effort, they used their planes as bombs by ploughing into enemy warships. Few survived. It was not only an intentional suicide, these suicide bombers took out sometimes hundreds of others in their wake.
Playing spiritual kamikaze occurs when we’ve not tended to the core work of spiritual maintenance and upkeep; suddenly a plethora of perplexing emotional stimuli comes in and we don’t have the spiritual backup we’d ordinarily rely on.
Spiritual stamina is built up through a dedicated and sustained devotional life. There’s no substitute. But we’ve all lapsed to the point of weakness coming in; where we lacked awareness of the broken arrow we’d become.
Having ploughed their planes into enemy warships (usually American), the Japanese pilots, perhaps only skilled enough to do the direst deed, not only ended their own lives, they ended many other enemy lives, also.
Our spiritual kamikaze acts tend to bring others down with us. If we have power and influence, more people are potentially brought down. And as we rally to understand what’s going on, the only real difference between the Japanese kamikaze and the spiritual kamikaze is intention — nobody intends destruction when they genuinely believe in building people up.
Not getting into a spiritual kamikaze is very much about tending to the garden of our faith life; our growth journey with God. Too much beautification of the garden without pulling the weeds means those weeds can end up strangling the best plants.
We’ve been talking planes, so where does this land?
The barometer for the spiritual life is the emotional life. Our mental life (our thinking) is the gauge.
The emotional life is fed from the mental life. What we think influences what we feel, and what we feel influences how we act and interact. Our thinking is key to our health.
The spiritual life is the input; the mental and emotional life is the output. The mental life (our thinking) drives the emotional life. The emotional life is, hence, the main guide for how healthily we’re thinking.
These are some of the tests of adult and mature healthy emotionality I would run myself through in checking my spiritual health:
1. Am I being really honest before God? Do I trust him with my truth? What are the examples of where I’ve been doing this?
2. Am I being intentionally vulnerable in my relationships? This mirrors my trust of God, showing that, because I trust God, I’m also able to trust important others who’ve proven themselves trustworthy in my life.
3. Where have I been growing? What would God be most pleased with in terms of my growth?
4. Have I been building people up as opposed to damaging people? And where I have damaged relationships, what restitutive work have I put in place? What are the evidences of my building others up? (Note: God directly uses our building up of others to build us up.)
5. How in-tune have I been recently with regard to my spiritual health or ill-health? Am I a positive presence, safe to be around, in life at the moment?
© 2015 Steve Wickham.