Detachment the Second Step of the Ladder

John Climacus puts spiritual discipline in the picture of a ladder reaching toward God. “The ladder of divine ascent.”

Once you begin the journey toward spiritual formation, the first step involved being alert–not sleepy. The second step is detachment.

Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Preachers usually shorten the term mammon to money. But the original word connotes the idea of wealth–stuff. Money plus all the things that you grow attached to. House, car, bank account, vacation home.

John says that once starting on the spiritual journey, detach your heart from all of these things that hold you back. He uses the picture of Lot and his wife leaving Sodom. God let them escape, but told them not to look back as if in longing for the life of sin there. Lot’s wife looked. Turned into a pillar of salt. Poof!

Jesus once used a story of a man plowing in the field and leaving the plow to follow him, and warns not to look back.

Jesus knows the state of our heart. He knows if our heart is still with our stuff or if it has truly turned toward following him.

Once you have taken the step of spiritual formation, do not look back.

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