Spiritual Growth: the Spiritual Challenge of Todays Times
To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a monumental task. Today's conveniences such as electronic toys, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television...
To grow spiritually is to look inside.
Focusing inward goes beyond remembering the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You must look closely and examine your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the friends you have, and the things you do give us useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must keep and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, focusing inward can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie inside you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.
To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.
Religion and science have sometimes conflicting views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily existing on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are known but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works gives us the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow discovered several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the ultimate development of the individual. Maybe the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.
To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.
Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Many theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or we set it ourselves, to grow in spirit is to understand that we do not merely exist. We do not understand the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are specific beliefs and values that we reject and accept. Our lives have purpose. This purpose takes all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potential into use; sustains us during hard times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to look forward to. A person without purpose or meaning is like a boat without an oar.
To grow spiritually is to understand interconnections.
Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. So we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no obvious blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam teach of the relationship between humans and a higher being. Conversely, science relys on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Understanding your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It encourages you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.
Growth is a journey. So to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We gain ground we lose ground, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, greater spiritual growth is made possible.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Gaster is a trainer of NLP and Hypnosis, a Master Coach of NLP and a Brian Tracy business coach. He is also the creator of Program Your Destiny a free weekly teleseminar series. Get in Now: ==> http://program-your-destiny.com