Spiritual Growth in Times of Stress

Spiritual growth is the need of very many people today, especially because of the stress that attacks most of us. Because of the demands of society upon us and because of the rising expectations which we impose upon ourselves, we tend to be stressful, unable to stay put, always going to and fro, and even if we just sit or stand still our thoughts go far away to myriad different tasks we think we have to do. It is in such a situation that we need to consider our spiritual growth.

Neglect of Spiritual Growth

The growth that most people think about is physical, or bodily growth. We have nutrition classes to make sure we eat healthy foods for our body. We have hospitals and clinics to take care of our bodies when they are sick. We have gyms to keep the shape of our bodies in beautiful form. We have gerontology to study the aging of our bodies and how to take care of their growth in old age. We have geriatrics which take care of the diseases associated with aging, of the growth factors of our bodies as they age. But we do not have spiritualogy to take care of our spiritual growth. If you search there is a term “spiritualogy” but it is connected with astrology or with spirituality as a topic, not as a practical science of spiritual growth. Only a few people know about this.

What Spiritual Growth Is

Spiritual growth is growth of the spirit in us. In trying to understand this reality we immediately face certain difficulties.

Difficulty number one is that most people equate our spirit with our soul. The dictionary itself defines spirit as soul. The main line churches look upon the spirit as only a modality of the soul, the way a soul operates or function. For them the human person is composed only of body and soul, as Aristotle taught. Unless it is clear in our minds that the spirit is a reality distinct from our soul, we cannot learn about its growth.

Difficulty number two is that the spirit is invisible. Unlike the human body we cannot see it. We can see the body grow in size or height but we cannot see the spirit as it grows. We can measure the growth of the soul or human mind in a person through tests, structured and informal, but we cannot use these tests to measure the growth of the spirit.

Difficulty number three is that the person who has not realized the birth or presence of the spirit in him can never understand the growth of the spirit. It is a case of experience is necessary to understand this reality. And most of us have not realized the birth or presence of the spirit in us. We may admit that we have souls, but it is difficult, or rather impossible, for us to admit that we have a spirit unless we have experienced its birth and growth in us.

But we have a way out of these difficulties.

The easiest way I have found to explain spiritual growth is by the use of the concept of surrender. Some reasoning is helpful to understand this concept, but then later we have to take a step of faith.

It is clear and easily acceptable that someone is greater than you, whether it be your parents or your teachers or your boss at work. It is also clear and easily acceptable that someone is greater than these who are greater than you, whether they be their parents, their teachers or their boss. You can stretch forth this chain of superiority and you will arrive at the concept of someone who is greater than all there is.

This someone who is greater than all that there is cannot be composed of matter. The reason for this is because matter is changing, is decaying and is not permanent. He must be composed of spirit and he must be pure spirit without mixture of matter or change or decay or impermanence, in order to be superior to all.

This spirit who is superior to all that there is some call the Absolute Spirit, that is, the spirit who has no limitations. He is therefore eternal and infinite. Some call him God, others call him Allah, still others use his personal name Yahweh or Jehovah. I prefer to call him the Spirit with a capital S.

Now here we have to exercise some faith. Because this Spirit is superior to all that there is, he is in control of everything that there is. Everything is happening according to his predesigned plan. His effect on the world has been very well expressed by that poem DESIDERATA in the lines “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” The universe is unfolding as it should because this Spirit is making sure that it does.

Still we take a further step of faith. This Spirit is working out what is best for you. This is true because he is all good, all wise and all powerful. He loves you, created you, and takes care of you everyday.

Now here the concept of surrender comes in. Spiritual growth is growth in your surrender to this Spirit as he works out his plan in your life. The more you surrender to him the more you grow spiritually.

This is because the more you surrender yourself to him the more you become like him and the more you acquire his goodness, his wisdom and his power.

This surrender can be quantitative: you surrender more and more areas of your life to him. You may begin with the food you take, then with the clothes you wear, the shelter you dwell in. You surrender these to him. Then you surrender to him your goal in life, your dreams, your plans, etc.

It is also qualitative surrender. Not only do you surrender more and more areas of your life to him, but you do this very often until it becomes part of your subconscious.

Spiritual Growth Makes You Calm

When this spiritual growth happens in your life you become calm amidst the stress in life. The reason for this is because you are more and more confident that everything is turning out for your best. Thus you no longer worry, but you go about your work knowing that you will succeed in whatever you undertake under the direction of this Spirit.

In this article we have learned that spiritual growth is the need of very many people today, that it is a neglected topic of discussion or learning, and what spiritual growth is. I hope that you have taken a step of faith by connecting yourself to the Spirit and surrendering yourself to him. In this way you know and are confident that you will succeed in life and thus you become calm amidst the culture of stress that most men and women experience today.

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Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
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Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

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