How to Keep from Getting Spiritually Weird

By Greg Koukl

One of my students observed that a whole lot of Christian folks who have gone spiritually weird seemed to start out great. They found themselves unequipped to deal with the hardship and tribulation that inevitably faces every believer. They’d become ineffectual and disenchanted Christians.

So this student asked a very simple but important question: “How do you survive in the long haul as a Christian?” In other words, how do you keep from getting spiritually weird?

So I’ve put some time and thought into it and I’m going to suggest a few things I think can make a difference.

First, what kind of people get spiritually weird? People who are looking for quick fixes frequently get weird.

It seems like every couple of years a new fad comes down the pike promising a, deeper richer, fuller, Christian life. If you’ve been around for a while you know what I mean. In my twenty years as a Christian we’ve had Power in praise; the “second blessing” as key to the powerful Christian life; speaking in tongues; heavy-handed submission to church leadership; binding, loosing and rebuking of demons, name it and claim it, the School of the Prophets, hearing the voice of God, power evangelism. These are all fads, ladies and gentlemen, evangelical joy-toys. They each may emphasize something that has biblical merit, but they do so in an unbalanced way, and each fails utterly as a panacea, as the one particular and principle thing that makes your Christian life “work.”

It is uniquely American to want an easy way out, especially a way out that is not painful and requires no work. That American value has crept into our American Christianity. So we have these seminars to get it all taken care of in a weekend. Want mental health? Get hands laid on you and you’ll have mental health overnight. Want spirituality? Have a vision, get the baptism, or speak in tongues. Want your problems to disappear? Simply praise the Lord. Want to be rid of temptation and sin? Have the demon cast out. Want to be done with the aggravation of decision making? Let God speak to you.

Instead of being devoted to developing spiritual maturity and attaining Scriptural knowledge, we want the quick fix. Instead of developing mastery, we want magic. Instead of learning our lessons, we want the master sitting next to us during the tests of life whispering His answers into our ears. We anticipate an A in the exam of life not because we know the material, not because we’ve mastered the content and it’s become a part of us, but because we’ve cheated…


Stand to Reason: How to Keep from Getting Spiritually Weird

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