Biblically worshiping God involves spirit and truth. At the beginning of the 21st Century, most Christians worshiped God in one or the other, but rarely both. God offers such wonder to our spirits and truth to our minds that we easily become satisfied with only one of the two. This creates an imbalanced heart since the heart is a junction of the thinking mind and the emotional spirit.
Mostly peer-motivated, few Christians of the last two thousand years tapped into the immense, intrinsic, self-motivated power of the human will to pursue worshiping God in both spirit and truth. This captivating energy is only discovered when one has a deep, burning fascination with God Himself. Once this is discovered, “encouragement” from other Christians fades to static because God is that fascinating.
Gathering to study and learn, encouraging each other, talking through our challenges together, checking our moral compasses—these are good and necessary. But, they have been oversold by leaders in the Church—both professional and volunteer, both lay and trained—to such a point that they unintentionally invalidated the value of individual motivation. To be fully healthy as humans, each of us must chase after both spiritual and truthful things that can only be found in a relationship between God and one, single human.
While we must interact with each other on the level of truth and spoken ideas, we also require awareness of each other’s spirits. Christianity often describes the Christian life as having horizontal and vertical “growth”, with God and with our fellow Man. Both of those involve spirit and truth. Emphasizing the horizontal relationship to the exclusion of the individual-vertical also imbalances the spirit-truth element. When that happens, the condition of the human heart becomes akin to a body builder who exercises only upper or lower body, or only right or left.
Balance is for all people. Spiritually, that means getting comfortable with the discomfort of emotions, whether in repentance or worship. Balance strengthens one’s genuine connection to God while entertainment-driven excitement is a poor substitute for the real thing. “Spiritual” growth requires that we diligently pursue spirit-inclusive truth—neither trying to contrive one’s own truth nor dismissing academic diligence as “unspiritual”.