I want to talk today about breaking out of a “Spiritual Slump”. If you follow baseball or football, some important games are going on right now. In baseball, they will sometimes talk about a hitter that is experiencing a “slump”. I was watching football over the weekend and they were talking about one particular quarterback who is apparently going through a slump.
There are not only athletic slumps, but there are business slumps, economic slumps (called a recession) and marriage slumps. “The Seven Year Slump” in a marriage is where you are just going through the motions. Then there are Spiritual Slumps. It may feel like you have reached a plateau and it seems like nothing is happening or going your way.
Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs but struck out 1,330 times. If he was in a batting slump, he didn’t let it discourage him. An interviewer asked him “How do you keep from being discouraged?” He replied “I realized the law of averages will catch up if I keep swinging. In fact, if I’m in a slump, I feel sorry for the pitcher because I know that sooner or later he’s gonna pay for it.” That’s the attitude we should have. In baseball, if you have a batting average of 300, you’re really good. You know what that means, though? 70% of the time you are striking out. 7 out of 10 times that you step up to that plate, you aren’t getting on base. And yet, with that kind of an average, you are considered really good. No one bats a thousand.
I think sometimes we get in a slump and feel discouraged because we have the wrong perspective about our life and what God expects from each of us. Think about it, if Babe Ruth stayed in the dugout, he never would have broken the home run record. I think so many people get stuck in the “dugout of life”. I hope you aren’t stuck there. I think the lesson is that to get out of a spiritual slump, marriage slump, financial slump or whatever the slump may be, keep swinging. Don’t give up.
I want to give you four ways to break out of a Spiritual Slump:
- Think – Think differently. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Feelings follow thoughts. If you change your thoughts, you can change the way you feel. Replace those negative thoughts that keep bombarding you. Batters that are in a hitting slump begin to over think and over question themselves. A sports psychologist can help them break through that spiritual slump because it’s more of a mental issue than a physical one. Think thoughts such as “God loves me, He’s for me, He’s on my side. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Act – There’s power in action. Act as if you have more faith than you do right now. Begin to imitate others whose faith you admire, who inspire you. There were those in the Bible who went through slumps and rose again. Acting changes how you feel, as well. Doing some positive things you enjoy helps you break out of the slump.
- Share – Reach out to help others. The Dead Sea is the way it is because nothing flows out; it only flows in. When you are in one of those slumps, everything and everyone is pouring into us but we aren’t sharing and giving what we have had come into our lives. Find and help those in need, or volunteer and lend a helping hand. If we don’t do some of this, we become stagnant or ingrown and that isn’t healthy. Go out and brighten someone else’s day. Engage someone in conversation and be interested in what is happening in their world.
- Return – Return to your first love. Rev. 2:4-5 (AMP) “4 But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me].” Sometimes we have found that we have lost our passion for Christ. Jesus said to think how far you have fallen, turn from your sins and do what you were doing first. Go back to when you were engaged in a passionate, committed relationship with Christ. You will see that you begin to pull out of that spiritual slump.
Get out of the “Dugout of Life”, step up to the plate and keep on swinging! You may miss 70% of the time, but when you do connect, that’s going to get you on the base of life and bring you home.
I hope you have a fantastic week!