What so often holds people back from pursuing a spiritual connection is the hesitancy surrounding “spiritual impurity.”
Really, what does that even mean? It usual comes from a past of religious doctrine telling us how sinful we are and how we must repent from this nature. How every decision we make may somehow anger God, and unless we come to terms with our wrongdoing, God will be displeased.
Now, this is problematic. Spiritual impurity seems unavoidable in modern life. It’s simply a product of our culture and society. But it hinders so much potential for deep spiritual growth and awakening. We’re too darn busy feeling guilty with spiritual impurity for that to even happen!
Today is all about this spiritual impurity and how overcoming that innate shame can set us free. It’s time to stop abandoning religion altogether and, instead, reclaim religion for what it truly represents.
What we already know about spiritual impurity.
Let’s take spiritual impurity all the way back to whenever you were probably first introduced to it. I can remember myself in my Lutheran confirmation classes every Wednesday evening. Whichever church member decided to volunteer as a teacher was responsible for teaching the impressionable young minds about what God wants from us and how to draw closer to Him.
Inevitably, a huge part of that curriculum involved Jesus as the savior of all us sinful people so we don’t rot in Hell. It probably wasn’t worded like that, but that’s the main message. Think of every single time you screwed up today, and bring it to God to ask for forgiveness.
This rhetoric really drives home spiritual impurity as our reason for needing God, which sounds so backwards in hindsight. No wonder so many of us leave the church environment! We’re sick and tired of hearing how we aren’t abiding by biblical standards, and how God is so disappointed in how we’re choosing to exist.
Put on a new perspective.
Here’s where we can rewrite the story of spiritual impurity. Perhaps it’s not what your Sunday School teacher taught or what your pastor’s sermon said, but spirituality shouldn’t be cookie-cutter. Spirituality shouldn’t be constricted to indoctrinated creeds and standards created in an entirely different setting and context.
What might make you feel awash with spiritual impurity is what deserves the most compassion, not shame. Step out of that confession booth and listen up.
Consider the proposition of yin and yang. There’s constant duality and cyclical balance within our universe. Suffering is inevitable. How might blaming ourselves or others make this suffering any less prominent?
We’re constantly looking for the scapegoat. Throw all your sins and woes onto the “other,” and cast them away into exile. But the suffering’s still there. Nothing has changed. Any sense of relief has been conditioned through perpetuated spiritual impurity.
God is all-knowing. All-powerful. We as living beings aren’t equipped to understand everything going on around us. Some things will never be visible to our naked eyes. Labeling something or someone as “spiritually impure” is just us trying to make meaning out of what we don’t yet understand. Who’s to say that whatever decision you made wasn’t meant to happen? If God has every plan laid out before us, then what difference will it make?
Is there evil in the world?
Nobody is perfect. Jesus is a teacher, and Christian values come from seeing Jesus as a guide rather than just a savior. Regardless if you consider yourself a theist or not, you likely still believe in love and compassion. You can still find beauty in nature and within fellow living beings.
Do you believe in evil? A devil or “Enemy” that is always trying to convince us to do bad things? That’s up to you to decide. In this case of spiritual impurity, I think what we deem “evil” and “bad” and “sinful” can often be a product of misunderstanding. Ignorance. Anger and hatred. And, chances are, this potential hatred stems from what we believe about spiritual impurity.
It’s a vicious cycle that can quickly feel endless. Trying to one-up each other in what the “right way” to live and believe may be. This is where deep spiritual reflection comes in and blows spiritual impurity out of the water.
Less spiritual impurity. More strength.
I challenge you to take a situation that may otherwise seem like spiritual impurity. Let’s take an example of stealing, obviously one of the Ten Commandments. If we steal anything, then you better get down on your knees ASAP.
But what if we reframe that perspective? Think of someone who must steal to survive because nobody chooses to acknowledge the homeless person on the street.
Or, turn it back on the privileged populations: where’s the repentance for stealing Native American lands? Where’s the repentance for billionaires to benefit from underpaid, overworked sweatshop employees?
Don’t get me wrong: we’re swarmed with injustice left and right. You’ll find that on both sides of the political aisle. When it comes down to spiritual impurity, are we going to spend our time and energy pointing the finger and praying for forgiveness? Or are we going to act and do something about what we see as “impure”?
Spiritual impurity is a whole can of worms we could spend countless blog posts unpacking. If you ask me, “sin” is a loaded concept. Our world feels overwhelming with injustice and suffering, but how we view all of that spiritually depends upon how we’re going to act and change. Words mean nothing without a platform to stand upon. God and our great spiritual teachers have given us the wisdom we need to know how Spirit can and should interweave Itself in our decisions and values.
And, for the average folk, I hope you lift that stressful weight off your shoulders that you’re displeasing God with your everyday mistakes. If the breath of Spirit is what gives you life, then I believe that deems us as innately good. Perhaps there’s the rare exception, but for the majority? We’re loved and treasured.
You don’t need to be saved. Through God’s love, you’re given the strength to save yourself. The sooner you believe that, the sooner that you can fully step into the grand purpose this life has in store.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie
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