I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (1 Corinthians 4:14-15 ESV)

Sports seasons are weird this year. The pandemic shut a lot down. However, there’s still a common story we hear about athletes every year. It’s a perfect analogy for the case for having a spiritual father or mother.

Have you ever heard about the gifted athlete who gets a big break into pro sports, only to ruin their career by doing something bad outside of the sport?

It might be a fight… Drugs… Or many other bad decisions…

Recently, a commentator on a sports program talked about athletes like this. He said they have major thing in common: they lack a father figure. They don’t have a guiding authority or mentor in their lives to keep them on the right track.

Just as those athletes need an authority in their lives, so do we as Christians.

A Spiritual Father or Mother

Paul told the church in Corinth that he was their spiritual father. He was there to encourage and correct them. His job was to help them be the people God wanted them to be.

Do you have a spiritual father or mother in your life who can speak truth to you when you mess up?

And if you do, do you listen to them? Are you teachable? Or do you get immediately defensive?

I’m not talking about a pastor standing behind a pulpit preaching to you.

I mean a spiritual father or mother who knows what is really going on in your life. While it’s hard to open up to a person about your failures (and give them permission to correct you), it’s a key to our spiritual growth.

Ask God to show you who you should give permission to do this for you. Then humbly ask for their guidance.

Why Do We Need Spiritual Parents?

Imagine kids growing up without parents. How would they learn to walk, talk, and become a functioning adult?

God’s design for the Church is the same as his family. Spiritual fathers and mothers guide, correct, and encourage us just like good parents do for their children.

Who is your spiritual father or mother?


Today’s devotion by Jordan Loftis, author of two bestselling books, Today We Win and The Men With Bare Feet, host of The Bible Better Podcast, and editor of Short Daily Devotions.