When I first became a Christian I was introduced to the priorities of the Christian community. I learned quickly that it was expected of me that I have a daily devotion time, a time reserved for Bible reading and prayer.
I was expected to go to church. I was expected to have a kind of piety that was evident by not cursing, not drinking, not smoking, and the like. I had no idea that biblical righteousness went far beyond these things.
However, like most new Christians, I learned to emphasize such things. My personal letters took on a new pattern of language. They began to sound like pages from New Testament epistles.
I soon learned to use Christian jargon in my everyday speech. I didn’t “tell” anybody anything, I “shared” it with them. Every good fortune was a “blessing,” and I found I could hardly speak without sprinkling my sentences with spiritual platitudes.
Soon, however, I found that there was more to the Christian life than daily devotions and sanctified words.
I realized that God wanted more. He wanted me to grow in my faith and obedience, to go beyond milk to the meat. I also discovered that Christian jargon was an almost meaningless form of communication, both to non-Christians and Christians alike. I found myself more interested in echoing a subculture’s lingo than in finding true godliness.
My error was this: I was confusing spirituality with righteousness.
I also discovered that I was not alone in this. I was caught up with a crowd who confused the means with the end. Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness.