In my previous post on personal growth, I shared on how knowing who you are is a requirement for your personal development. A major part of that involves understanding your spiritual makeup. In understanding spiritual growth, the first thing one must learn is the human makeup. Human beings are tripartite beings, primarily spirit beings, possessing a soul and living in a body. The body is that physical and material part of us that we all see. It is through the body we interact with this physical world, shaking hands, giving hugs etc.
The soul and spirit are immaterial. The soul comprises the mind, will and emotions. It is the sit of intellect, decisions and feelings. Our exposure, education, environment and interactions shape our soul and ultimately set the tone for our personality.
Finally the real you, the spirit, is the core of your being. It is that part of you that connects with the unseen spiritual world. It is from the spirit we are inspired, creativity, discernment and direction.
For you to grow spiritually and in consciousness, pay attention to development these areas:
1. Words. The words that we speak shape our destiny. Words are powerful in creating our realities. A spiritually mature person is one who has learned not to err in words. Such a person has learned to choose words carefully. This person knows when to speak, how to speak, and if to speak, and when he or she does speak, he or she speaks words of life. Your words create the world you live in, whether good or bad, so learn to use words wisely.
2. Thoughts. The mind acts as a gateway to the spirit. Thoughts that prevail in our mind eventually sip into our spirit and begin to control us, producing the reality we experience. You must learn to take control of your thoughts. Rather than let your mind roam, consciously impress upon your mind thoughts that are positive, beautiful, lovely and of good report. Let your thoughts be impressed with images of your desired and expected end. Once these get in your spirit, they will begin to guide you and attract resources, people and ideas to you, and will eventually become your reality.
3. Discernment. Discernment is the ability to judge rightly. It is keenness of insight. Spiritual growth involves developing one’s ability to make the right judgement call. It is said that the more information you have the better you are at making decisions. Studies show that this is not completely true. Rather people who have developed their ability to discern are better at making decisions, even with limited information Discernment is a function of the spirit; when presented with sensory information, you search your heart to decide how you should act. Sometimes your decisions may be contrary to the facts at hand.
4. Actions. Another indication of spiritual growth which follows from discernment, is the ability to act in ways that are not precipitated by anything external. Conscious living depends upon being able to take decisions based on one’s resolve. It is about being intentional in the way we act rather than reacting to circumstances. Decisions and actions must be taken of one’s volition, even if it is something that is considered absolutely insignificant.
5. Love. The greatest weapon for all good in the world is love. It is the foundation of good character. It is the ability to recognize the dignity in all people irrespective of how we feel about their choices. Love chooses to empower others. The love nature of the spiritually perfect is unrelenting in its pursuits, caring more for others other than oneself, and not wanting what it doesn’t have. It doesn’t strut, have a swelled head, or force itself on others. It isn’t always “me first.” Rather, it prefers others. It is the God kind of love, and it doesn’t fly off the handle or keep score of the sins of others, and doesn’t revel when others grovel. Instead, it takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything. Love always looks for the best. It never looks back but keeps going to the end.
6. Peace. Inner peace is highly indicative of spiritual growth. Tension within our spirit signifies to us that there is something out of place spiritually. This is beyond an act of one’s own will and resolve. A spiritually mature person has found relationship with God, and this is the ultimate source of spiritual peace. One with spiritual peace has an inexplicable confidence about life, is satisfied with life, and is content irrespective of the economic situation.
I have found the Bible and the Christian faith to be most complete in the spiritual growth of an individual. The teachings in the Bible perfectly capture these areas in the development of the spiritually mature. The quality of the life you enjoy is directly in tune with the quality of your spiritual life. So make a commitment today to grow yourself up spiritually!