What is Spiritual Growth?
Spiritual growth is allowing yourself to absorb information that helps you to gain knowledge and understanding in what you believe in on a consistent basis. Then putting what you learn and believe into practice.
We all believe in something. The belief system is a foundation that filters the things that we are exposed to in our environment. It determines how much we let the outside influence our inner thoughts.
So when I said earlier that our attitude derived greatly from our past experiences you may might have first thought, “how is it that some respond differently to their environment or life challenges even from the similar backgrounds.”
The level of spiritual growth is what makes a huge difference.
When you spend more time learning about that which you believe, it's like anything else, you gain knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. You will either deepen your understanding and strengthen your beliefs or you will begin to decide you don't believe what you thought you did after all and you will find something else that you can develop deeper belief in.
When you are on the right path there will be less to weaken your belief system and as your faith gets stronger and stronger your resistance to outside influence goes up. At the same time your self awareness is higher and your purpose for living becomes more clear. This makes life more exciting and meaningful.
What motivates you shifts from superficial things to things of more significance. You care about personal development of yourself and finding ways to help others experience growth also. You are less selfish and more compassionate.
The understanding of how all things are connected becomes greater and you take this in to account when traveling your journey through life. Some of the smallest things will change about you, that only you will know but it makes you a better person all the way around and that part people will know.
For example (and not that I am the master of spiritual growth, or have reached some significant degree...)
Now this is so minor (to some) but it's an example of how little things can represent something greater. (This may be a mixture of spiritual growth and maturity but the same process, both comes with time spent engaged in a relevant environment while paying more attention about how it affects life around it. At the end of the day, spiritual growth IS what brings about maturity in many ways. So call it what you want.)
There was a time that I used to not think twice about throwing trash out of the window. When I was a teenager in more ignorant times, it was fun to hit signs with a bottle.
A little older, that was unacceptable but chewing gum paper was no big deal.
A little older that was unacceptable, but I didn't care if someone else threw chewing gum paper from my car on their side.
A little older and that wasn't acceptable either.Now I don't let people throw anything out of my window.
I don't even like it when people throw cigarette butts out of their own window. Or on the ground period. I am not hugging trees yet, but why throw trash on the ground when you can just put it in the bag.
Which brings up another point. Part of maturity in spiritual growth is knowing where the line is drawn for yourself. For instance, I wouldn't start preaching to someone who throws a butt out of his or her window. (Although they might see me shaking my head at them)
If we are outside and they throw it on the ground I may or may not chime in, but it's based on how I read the situation. Is he/she just not thinking or going against the grain intentionally, in other words ignorant in other ways.
Often people will be guided by what others think they should do, or feelings of guilt, etc. For instance a parent might not discipline their child for doing something that they did as a child. This shows a lack of growth because that is not the way to look at it for the child's benefit. That is operating from guilt.
But what you did has nothing to do with what whether you denounce it. You can use your past as a teaching tool not a stumbling block by pointing out the fallout from doing the thing.
So spiritual growth enables you to know yourself and what is important. It give you foundation for better thought which helps keep you stay on course towards your destination. It empowers you to keep a positive attitude despite what goes on around you. You improve the attitude of others you encounter effortlessly because of your outlook and personal philosophy on life too because of your pleasant personality.
It promotes wellness in self and others.
You become less susceptible to depression, anger, regrets, fears, insecurities, anxiety, sadness, and as a result even disease. A degree of this is simply because of your strong beliefs. Another degree is because your awareness of self and the affliction of these issues causes you to seek methods to help you overcome them.
At the end of the day what happens is that you become a better person as a result of your growth. Not that you are better than other people who are not growing but you experience life a lot differently and it helps you and those who you encounter. You are more aware of the world and how what you do affect other people. You either know or are in search of your purpose on earth and how you can contribute while you are here.
(The opposite is a person who only seeks to take. Just imagine the difference in relationships. Amazing)
This is how I describe spiritual growth and development. This is what it means to me. Other people might have their own philosophy about it and what it means. The dictionary might even have a different meaning. This is what I mean when I say spiritual development.
So how do you accomplish growth? Well for me, it's listening to Christian radio to people like Tony Evans, Chuck Bently, and even motivation speakers like Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Stephen Covey, many people go to Church, read the Bible, Meditate, Nature walks, Yoga, Affirmation Sessions, and other rituals that help increase awareness or build strength to the foundation of their beliefs.
So however you get more information and understanding of it and then put it into practice in daily rituals and life application will help you to grow spiritually. This strong belief system will help you through all of life's challenges, boost your immune system, provide mental strength and confidence in your abilities. What are you waiting for?
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