Something that has come up a lot lately in different books and quiet times I’ve had the past month or so is the idea of spiritual prostitution. And yes, you did just read that right. No, that was not a typo. Spiritual prostitution.
Prostitution (according to Merriam Webster): the use of a skill or ability in a way that is not appropriate or respectable
Typically, this termed is reserved for the act of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for money. In our case, we are pimping out what God has given us in exchange for our own “pleasure”.
So often we give pieces of ourselves away. We give to our job. We give to our family. We give to our friends. We give to our ministry. We give to our classes. We give to strangers. Little pieces of us are strung out all over the place carelessly. Now don’t get me wrong-these are all wonderful things and situations that are great to give pieces of yourself to, but are we going about it in a way that is not appropriate or respectable to God?
We are to give God our entirety. As in D). All of the above. Not divide out our lives-this piece for God, this piece for family, and so on and so forth.
Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” By putting God first, everything else will fall into place. My college ministry gave us a demonstration of this–imagine a vase and two handfuls of rocks that need to fit into the vase. In one handful, the rocks are large and in the other they are smaller. The larger ones represent our spiritual disciples (reading your Bible, prayer, memorizing Scripture, attending church and Bible study, etc.), the smaller represent all those day to day things (school, work, seeing friends and family). If you put the smaller rocks in first, then the larger-they all wont fit and more than likely you will end up with a broken vase from trying to force them all in. If you put the larger rocks in first, the smaller ones will fall into place and everything will fit nice and neat. When we put God first, everything falls into place. If He intends you to do, you will have time and the ability to give to your classes, job, friends, family, ministry, etc.
That same chapter in Matthew states in verses 19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where is your treasure? Where is your heart? Is it scattered around, allowing it to be easily stepped on or broken? Or is it stored up with God where it is safe for eternity?
Point two to this scenario: Not only are we giving pieces of ourselves away for free or at a cost to ourselves, but we pimp out the Bible as well. We take verses and make them feel good and fit what we want to hear. We spread verses and plaster them anywhere and on anything we can, but we do not take into account the true meaning and context.
Again, I’m not saying take out the warm and fuzzy encouragement verses and only stick to the wrath of God, gloom and doom verses, but take them all into account. What makes the Gospel beautiful and what makes God truly amazing is the fact that, yes-God could take you down with a snap of His fingers but He doesn’t and He loves us so much that as stated in the verse above, He has an abundant life written for us.
When we take these verses out of context and twist them into what makes us feel good, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. We’re missing the mark. We’re missing out on what God is trying to convey to us. Which is an utter tragedy. Why would we want to miss out or purposely misinterpret what God has for us just because we don’t like the way it sounds at the moment?
Also, simply plastering them onto something or posting them as your Facebook status means absolutely nothing if you don’t truly believe it and live them. In his book Jesus>Religion, Jefferson Bethke makes the points that, “The truth is, sometimes the good plan [God] has for our lives is to make us more like him, which more often than not takes pain. But we don’t use the verses in that context.” We’ve made God and the Bible fit into a feel good, happy go lucky, sunshine and rainbows box when He is so much more powerful and mighty than that. Isaiah 64:6 states, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” So basically, by just tossing around our “Christian” lingo and pretty words from an ancient book, we’re dirty ole paper towels…bummer.
So, back up to the title. In case you’re not familiar, Pretty Woman is a 1990 American chick flick starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. In the movie, Roberts plays a prostitute in Hollywood who is hired by a wealthy businessman (Gere) to be his escort to business and social functions while he was in town for a week. As the movie develops, the unlikely pair develop mutual feelings for one another and in typical chick flick fashion (which lets be real ladies, as much as me go ugh ewww in real life, we’re total saps for when it comes to literature and the silver screen) the couple end up together. Our walk with God is much the same. We go gallivanting about, pimping our lives, times, and heart out until God rides in and offers us the deal of a lifetime-a better paying gig than ever before. We take it, but get hesitant at times and get cold feet because we’re scared (I’m totally giving up the reigns is a big decision). Sometimes, we panic in fear and run the other direction or refuse to believe someone could actually love us despite the hot mess of a person we are. Still, God continues to pursue us and in the end wins our hearts over and rides up in a fancy white limo and scales the stairs like in the end of the movie-our knight in shining armor. He did so by sending His son to the climb those stairs up all the way to Calvary where He died for us.