I will be borrowing heavily from the countless conversations, books, and teachings of my father, Pastor Luis R. Scott. He serves as the Senior and Founding Pastor of Ambassadors of Christ Ministries. If you would like a more in-depth discussion of Spiritual Health I commend his book, Healing the Broken Spirit, on the subject of Spiritual Health and Spiritual Injuries.
Spiritual Health is a concept that describes a holistic view of Christian growth and sanctification. Most people will readily understand the idea of growing spiritually, but far fewer understand how this growth is cultivated and sustained. In this post, I will not try to fully explain what spiritual health is. That is a subject that would require far more space than this post will allow. My goal is to paint a silhouette of the possibilities that God is calling us to.
There are two distinct features of Spiritual Health. The first is understand how transformation takes place. The second is learning how to engage in the process of transformation.
How Does Transformation Happen?
To understand how transformation takes place, we can look to one of the apostle Paul’s more interesting ideas. It is found in his letter to the Roman church.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
The part I want to focus on is this relationship between transformation and the renewal of the mind. Paul appears to make the argument that in order for there to be transformation something has to take place in the mind of the person. But the question is what exactly has to happen?
What I find interesting is that in verse 3 of the same passage Paul talks about making sober judgments. In the context, Paul is talking about understanding our own individual gifts, as given by the Holy Spirit. But, more generally, this verse provides a framework for transformation.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)
What does it mean to have “sober judgment”? At our church we describe this idea in this way: Transformation can take place when we replace a lie with the truth. The goal is that for every lie that is replaced we become freer, and by extension healthier. The greater our health, the more opportunities we will have and see to engage in kingdom work.
Where does transformation happen?
The second feature of Spiritual Health has to do with how do we engage in the process of transformation. For my church, we teach our members—and anyone who will listen—that a disconnected Christian is an unhealthy one. What this means is that God has designed and appointed the Church to be the instrumental means of communicating the truth that transforms. Can it be found in other places? Yes, of course, it can. But every soul is guaranteed to find it in the Church.
Now, I fully understand that all churches are not as healthy as they should be. Some are downright sick. However, the failure of some to embody God’s purpose and design does not eliminate the goal and function of the Church in an individuals life.
We like to say at our church that there are three essential reasons for gathering with the church:
- To hear a truth that replaces a lie.
- To tune our ear to hear the voice of God.
- To build lasting friendships with other believers.
These three reasons are how we engage in the process of transformation. If transformation happens when lies are replaced with truth and if the church is the place designed to disseminate God’s truth then we should connect with a local body to give ourselves the best chance at becoming spiritually healthy.
As we enter into Holy Week, I would encourage you to seek God’s truth and to engage in the process of transformation. Find a church that carefully and unashamedly communicates the full counsel of God. There really is no better time to begin to seek lasting Spiritual Health.