62 percent claim to be "deeply spiritual"

Whatever that means. And there's the rub.

From Barna's latest research, presented in an article titled, Americans Reveal Their Top Priority in Life:

By far the top priority listed by adults - named by half of the population (51%) - was their family. Some segments were especially likely to list family as their highest commitment: people with children under the age of 18 living in their home (74%), adults in their twenties and thirties (67%), those who are married (61%), Catholics (60%), and Hispanics (60%). Several people groups were much less likely to place family at the top of their list. Those groups included people 60 or older (36%), singles (37%), African-Americans (39%), and Asians (39%).

Faith was the runner-up category, listed by 16% of all adults. This included a wide-ranging set of commitments, such as connecting with God, living consistently with one's faith principles, having peace with God, being a committed church member, honoring God, and growing in faith.

Being "spiritual" is trendy, but there's no clear definition of what that means. Is it a belief in God or a god? How is this spirituality practiced? What does it look like?

Barna found a disconnect between what people do and what they say. Nothing grounding-breaking there. It's part of the human condition. A prime example is similar to one cited in the article: I always find it sadly amusing when a trash-mouthed rapper with scantily-clad, rump-shaker background dancers thanks "God" after he wins an award.

"It seems as if God is in, but living for God is not," George Barna said. More precisely, god is in, but the living God is not. Christians have a term for living and growing in Christ as opposed to paying lip service to "spirituality": discipleship. A disciple is a follower, one who helps spread the teachings of others. A Christian disciple is one who spreads the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is, by nature, an evangelical.

The Bible teaches that once we're forgiven and become one of God's own, he begins to mold and shape us. We begin to live for him, and he lives through us. The goal is to make us "Christ-like," and in these fallen bodies with with our fallen nature, the "pruning" process is sometimes painful, often joyous, and always righteous.


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