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DIY Spirituality


For over a decade DIY has become a craze in the ‘West’. DIY shows, DIY books, DIY kits have become big business. DIY projects abound! I was chatting with a professional handy man (for I know I am not a DIY person) and I asked him if this fad was bad for business. He shared that in fact it was a boom and business couldn’t get much busier! It seems that  he finishes or fixes many DIY projects all the time. People began things that they are not gifted or trained for and when they realise they are “in over their heads” they have to call on someone who has the capabilities.

I am painfully aware that I am not capable of such projects so when I need these skills I call my handy friends or hire a capable professional. My friend told me that often those who fail at a DIY project call him as an absolute last resort and that often they make such a mess of things that the ‘fix’ becomes more drastic and costly.

I have just started reading a book “One Thig” by Neal Cole, in which he points out that the heresy (yes he uses that word!) of the church in the West is that of a DIY spirituality. This kind of ‘do it yourself’ works oriented spirituality is dangerous. Cole points out that Jesus has nothing positive to say to the Pharisaical (DIY) spirituality, Paul has no positive things to say to DIY spirituality of the Galatian Church.

I hang out daily with folks who know about their spiritual lives what I know about my ‘handy man’ life: they need help. They cannot do it themselves. They have messed up time and time again. The fix is drastic and costly. The fix is in fact death to self-effort and an utter reliance on grace. Church society recognises my friends’ sins and addictions as being very sinful indeed. Society and my friends have this in common, the universal recognition of sin. Our society, though, is unaware of “the beam” in its own eye. Our culture is victim of self-deception. Consumerism is but one example of an acceptable sin. A visitor to our country might look at the ever bigger houses and think we must have huge families living but the homes are ever expanding not to hold life but to hold our stuff!

We select what sins are sinful and what is a blessing without reference to what Jesus has to say. We are not meant to be a DIY Church we are called to be a people who follow the example of our Lord. It is in this relationship with Him that we experience the individual and corporate repair of the damage our DIY spirituality has caused.

Before such repair can take place we must humble ourselves and turn from our religious ‘do it yourself’ spirituality and call on the only one who is capable of the drastic renovation we so desperately require.


One comment on “DIY Spirituality

  1. The refugees who have come here have larger families than our national average so they have needed large apartments or houses — too bad the monster houses are out of their range. Most of us in Canada need to simplify our lives by finding a good home for much of our “stuff”. Me especially. As to your point, Jesus teaches us how to live in His Sermon on the Mount.

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