Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wrestling with God

One of the more interesting stories in sports recently dealt with a teenager’s decision not to compete in a wrestling match against his opponent, because she was a girl. He cited religious reasons for choosing to forfeit the match, believing that it is inappropriate for a male to engage in a “combat sport” with a female. Whether you agree or disagree, it does bring another perspective on how important a counselor should be mindful of their client’s faith during the counseling process.

During our class last week, we discussed whether or not a person could become more spiritual even if they were not a Christian. The issue that kept arising dealt with our definition of spiritual, as almost everyone has a slightly different opinion on it. With such a relative term, it is difficult to nail down what exactly is spiritual. We practiced a spiritual act at the end of class, when we spent 15 minutes in silence. It can also be said that the wrestler’s decision to forfeit was a spiritual act as well. However, did that act help him become more spiritual?

My belief is that for religious purposes, doing spiritual actions will result in a person becoming more spiritual. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, but more so being religious. In regards to Christianity, merely doing a spiritual act actually does nothing for our spiritual growth, and attempting to do so takes our mind off of our relationship with Christ and onto our own works. This is not to say that prayer does not bring us closer to God, but praying just for the purpose of being spiritual is nothing more than another work of man and is equivalent to praying through a list without understanding the heart behind it. For the Christian, growing closer to God comes first from a realization of how far away we actually are from God, and how utterly depraved mankind is. With all the wisdom in the Bible, its primary message to us all is “Christ and Him crucified”. For this reason, the more we understand that we are incapable of saving ourselves, the more we fathom the power of Christ’s redemption. That is how we grow closer to Christ; it is not solely through an act of man, even if it is a spiritual act, such as prayer or reading the Bible.

1 comment:

  1. This article was quite interesting. I respect this young man for sticking to his convictions despite the fact that it may have caused him placing as highly as he would like in the tournament. I sort of disagree with you though. I think spiritual and religious are different. Therefore, a person who is doing religious acts may increase in their religion. However, this is not synonymous with spirituality. I do think to increase in spirituality as a person, one must first become a Christian. I also agree that spiritual acts alone will not make one more spiritual. Rather, redemption is key. The grace that redeems one is also the grace that can sanctify one more into the image of Christ.


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