There’s a particular sickness you might have if you grew up in Church World1. The sickness? Spiritual Accomplishment Urgency Syndrome. The symptoms often include:
- You feel a need to be at all church activities. Even if you don’t go, you feel guilty about it.
- You feel guilty because you don’t pray enough, or read the Bible enough.
- You feel guilty because you haven’t taken on a new ministry role at church. (Maybe you’re even avoiding going to church because you don’t want to have the conversation about not being willing or ready to serve.)
- You secretly believe that pastors, evangelists, Christian writers and musicians are a little bit more committed to their faith than other people. After all, they are the ones who really have gone “all in.”
- You hate the idea of witnessing (it feels so invasive) but feel guitly for not doing it.
- You doubt God’s care for you sometimes, and then feel guilty because of it.
- You don’t pray at meals in public, but feel a little anxious and guilty because of it.
- You’ve not read the latest powerful Christian book that everyone at church is reading, and you don’t really want to (and you feel a little guilty about it.)
Do you notice a theme? Are you feeling a little guilty about it?
There’s another way this illness manifests itself. For a season, you actually do all these things. You serve, and pray, and read, and give, and witness, and study, and you do it with all your might—and yet, when you catch a moment alone with your heart, you fear that God doesn’t really love you or accept you or forgive you.
This sickness is draining all the joy out of your life. It’s leading you away from a more engaged and intentional spiritual life.
In his book, Radically Normal: You Don’t have to live Crazy to follow Jesus, Josh Kelley (Website / Facebook / Twitter) tackles this sickness, and offers a perspective that may help you find healing and a much more meaningful, and enjoyable spiritual life.