They Were "Spiritual"...But Not Christlike

They Were “Spiritual”…But Not Christlike

Anyone who says the Christian life is unadventurous hasn’t hung out much with the Apostle Paul. You can feel the tension rising as he goes to bat for the things Jesus has done in his life. You can hear him momentarily go off-roading in order to defend the message of the Gospel and pursue those whom he loves. Let’s not forget–Christianity is not meant to be a bunch of “do’s and don’t’s”–it’s meant to be relational!

The false teachers of this day were masquerading as image bearers of Jesus. They were Christian-fakers. They could talk the talk. They were “spiritual”…but not Christlike. They had head knowledge…but not heart. Take a closer look at how Paul describes them: “You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down–even slap your face! I shouldn’t admit it to you, but our stomachs aren’t strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff (v.20–MSG).”

From a distance, it appears obvious that these leaders did not have the best interest of others in mind. They were selfish and wrongly motivated. However, it is so easy to get entangled with others (even in the church) who persuasively influence you or impact your thinking. When you are looking for a place to belong and people to accept you…it is surprising what you will put up with. It may take some personal introspection to examine your friendships and relationships in order to determine whether or not they are Christ-centered.

What are the characteristics of a godly leader, mentor, or friend? Ask yourself…

  • What word best describes the other person: arrogance or humility?
  •  Do they tear you down, or build you up?
  • Do they talk over you, putting you in your place? Or do you consider them a place of refuge and comfort?
  • Do they brag about their self-accomplishments? Or, their weakness that was made strong in Jesus?
  • Do they want to hurry you on out the door?  Or are they patient with you, filled with grace?
  • Do they make every problem “your” problem? Or, do you find them relatable and human, willing to put themselves in your shoes?
  • Do they point you to Jesus above everything else?

Paul was a committed leader who was willing to endure incredible hardship and suffering in order to pursue the heart of the ones he loved. He leveraged his talents, abilities, knowledge, lineage, education, and career to steer the believers back to Jesus. We need more people like this today! People who are willing to take risks for others. People who will humbly take a stand, regardless of the fallout. People who are fearless faith-walkers to defend the truth.  

Why is it necessary to stand up for the truth? Why do we find it so difficult to do so?

About the author: Sue Allen

I am passionate about adoption, social justice, parenting, chocolate chip cookies…and most importantly JESUS! I have four amazing kids: Avery, Addie, Kade, and Comerson and an amazing hubs, Coby. We actively serve in Haiti with myLIFEspeaks, a special needs advocacy group and Christian outreach ministry.

12 thoughts on “They Were “Spiritual”…But Not Christlike”

  1. Olugbenga says:

    Apostle Paul. One can never get enough of the knowledge God passed to us through him. Staggering.

    1. Sue Allen avatar Sue Allen says:


  2. Shellie Maheu avatar truefaith101 says:

    “People who will humbly take a stand, regardless of the fallout. People who are fearless faith-walkers to defend the truth.”

    I couldn’t find a “love button” for this blog! This was such a great post!!!!! #AMEN 🙌🏻❤️

    1. Sue Allen avatar Sue Allen says:

      I’m so glad it blessed you!

    2. Godinterest avatar GODINTEREST says:

      AmenThanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Amen! That’s my comment. Paul was relentless in his pursuit of Sharing the good news of our Savior with others, relentless on himself.
    Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

    1. Sue Allen avatar Sue Allen says:

      I have so much more to learn from the Apostle Paul. I hope to be a trailblazer too and love people like he did.

      1. Godinterest avatar GODINTEREST says:  Godinterest LinkedIn    Twitter    Facebook a place to talk about God, Culture, Life and all that other stuff.

  4. To be fair, anyone who says the Christian life IS adventurous also hasn’t hung out much with the Apostle Paul. :)

    1. Sue Allen avatar Sue Allen says:

      Good point. I mean hanging out with him in Scripture. I always like to jump into the text, put myself in the story, and find relevancy for today. Have a good one!


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