First, let’s be clear that religious practice is not what we are talking about here:
“To the ritualistic priest and hypocritical Pharisee Jesus said, ‘The publicans and the harlots go into the
kingdom of God before you.’… He knew that men can be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, support the
clergy, observe the Sabbath, make long prayers, and yet be sensual and sinful. “ *
The following are distinctions of thought, not person, and thought has its degrees, but hopefully these offer a guide.
A material thought loves its own child intensely but cares little for the children of others. A spiritual thought loves like the sun shines, indiscriminately.
A material thought obsesses about its physical body and cares little about his state of mind, heart. A spiritual thought strives to listen and address the needs of the heart, insuring there is no unseen resentment, fear, etc.
A material thought turns first and only to medicine for comfort and healing. A spiritual thought uses every discomfort as an opportunity to kindle his relationship with his Maker, divine Love.
A material thought willingly bows down to the edicts of its government, and is oblivious to the erosion of his God-given rights. A spiritual thought is savvy to the workings of “spiritual wickedness in high places,” ever watchful that his allegiance is to God, not man.
A material thought likes to be liked and is willing to avoid ruffling feathers at all costs.
A spiritual thought? “It requires the spirit of our blessed Master to tell a man his faults, and so risk human displeasure for the sake of doing right and benefiting our race.” *
* Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy