Last night in our small group, the topic of discussion was Mark 8:13-21, where Jesus is teaching his disciples to be careful about their spiritual self and not just their physical needs.
It was a good discussion in our group. One of the discussions was why do we focus on our physical needs so much and not our spiritual problems?
First, our physical needs is something that we can see and feel. It’s hard for us to put away our physical needs. I can’t mentally say I’m not hungry for long periods of time. I can’t say I’m not sick. No matter how strong I am mentally, I will be reminded by those conditions.
Second, I can relate more with physical needs that others have. This gets into that I can see if someone else is sick. I can see if someone else is struggling financially. Spiritual needs I cannot see as well if at all. Therefore, I can’t relate my spiritual needs to someone else, and I can’t say we have something in common. So spiritual needs start becoming more embarrassing, because we don’t think others struggle with the same issues.
Third, Spiritual needs are easier to ignore. Unlike physicals needs where there is a physical response, i.e. hunger pains, fatigue, etc; spiritual needs do not have that. We can be bothered by them, but mentally we can stop thinking about them.
As mention in the second point, we get embarrassed by our spiritual issues because we can’t see others’ issues, so our spiritual needs start becoming more and more private. Many times in churches we try to act like we’re perfect, that we don’t have any issues. When ones do talk about their spiritual issues, for example, struggling with their faith, they get told things like “you must not really be a Christian if you struggle with your faith”; even though the person criticizing the person has probably had the same struggle, they just don’t talk about it.
We need to remember that we all have issues spiritually. We need to remember that church is the hospital for the spiritually sick, and that we all are spiritually sick/lacking. Even though we may not have the issue one person has, we very easily could down the road. As Christians we would be far better off talking about our spiritual needs and struggles, than just our physical needs. Are our physical needs important? Yes, but our spiritual issues impact us for eternity.