As much as I love the Christian path there is a mindset common among followers of Jesus that really disappoints me. I'm finding this a little hard to put into words so please bear with me.
What I have observed is that very few Christians appear to work on their spiritual health in any practical way. Often, they genuinely want to change but instead of doing work to help themselves they choose to put their faith in God. It's as if they expect God to flick a switch and make them better people.
Some Christians believe that incorporating certain practices not only demonstrates a lack of faith but is potentially dangerous. Personal development resources (books, programs, counseling, etc.) are often viewed with suspicion if not fear. There may be the outright rejection of any spiritual teaching that is not found in the Bible or even hints at New Thought. (Ironically, sometimes the Bible says the same thing but frames it differently!) Self-help books, yoga, meditation, body work, cognitive therapy and the likes are often dismissed entirely as being too new-agey and therefore risky business.
Many Christians are afraid to claim their own (God-given) power. Afraid to even admit they have any. I happen to believe God created us in His image, with the divine spark, and capable of greatness. Our animalistic nature (what many would call our fallen nature) is a considerable handicap but I won't allow it to be the defining characteristic of my being. I am a child of God first; a creature of this world second. Can we overcome the flesh? Jesus did. He received a glorified body in its place. What if that is what the resurrection was all about? The overcoming. What if Jesus' death on the cross was a symbolic message rather than a substitute punishment? What if we paid as much attention to the resurrection as we do the crucifixion?
What if God can only give us new glorified bodies when we have freely surrendered our earthly ones for crucifixion?
It's almost like Christianity promotes this fatalistic thinking that we cannot fix ourselves, that we are broken beyond repair, and our only hope is that God will restore us after we die. Although there is some truth in this we are allowing it to have too much power over us. Yes, as long as we remain in this world, in these (unglorified) bodies, we will be tempted and we will stumble. But is that evidence that we belong on the ground? No, even Jesus stumbled on his way to the cross.
Don't get me wrong, I wholly believe we need to trust in God, just not in the believe now so he can fix us later kind of way. God leads but we must listen and follow his directions. He gives us strength and wisdom but we must do the work. God empowers us, here and now, to be healed, to be transformed, to become (dare I say it) enlightened! To me this is the most beautiful message of any teaching in any religion. We can be born again and made anew. Of course we never do it alone. Aloneness is an illusion. Our spiritual nature is intimately connected with its source; it cannot be disconnected any more than an estuary can be disconnected from the ocean. All that craves God comes from God and is God. Deep calls out to deep.
Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within and you know what? I believe him.
What do you think? Do Christians shirk spiritual work? Is the doctrine of original sin a self-limiting belief that prevents Christians from reaching their full potential?