Most pastors think differently from other people. Whether it’s because of our seminary teaching or the specialty of our calling, we think about things theologically rather than socially, politically, psychologically or scientifically. Some people believe that being spiritual is all that it takes to be a pastor, but a pastor’s theological thinking goes way beyond that. Spirituality is about our personal relationship and individual journey to God. Theology is about what God thinks, what is important to Him, and how He relates to us.
Spiritual people sometimes make the mistake of trying to fit God into their lives. God becomes a convenient spiritual companion whose main task is to diminish our anxieties, see to our needs, and answer our prayers. Theological people see things differently: we are called to fit our lives in God’s Kingdom, so we seek to serve Him, doing what He wants, and answering His call. It’s a tough way to live life because it makes you think and act differently. The world patronizes and feasts upon spirituality in different forms, but it finds it difficult to swallow theological thinking and God’s wisdom.
When Paul writes about the wisdom and rulers of his age amounting to nothing, he’s expressing his opinion theologically. Worldly concerns and spiritual shallowness were just as prevalent then as they are now. Socially, politically, and economically they might have been relevant and important to the Romans of his day, but as far as eternally and theologically, they were of no consequence. Each age has its own culture, fashion, and trends but within a couple of decades, they are dead and forgotten. God’s words, works, and ways are eternally relevant, so no matter how much the world tries to diminish the divine and terminate theology, His thoughts, deeds, and acts will never disappear.
So the challenge for all of us today is this: are we going to be content with being spiritually light, or will we dare to begin thinking theologically?
Prayer: Lord God, Your ways are not our ways, and Your thoughts are not our thoughts, yet we dare to seek Your wisdom, read Your words, and apply Your ways. Keep us from becoming spiritually shallow and self-serving. Help us to give weight to Your thoughts by making our lives fit Your Kingdom and calling. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.