Steps for spiritual growth: Seven Steps to Spiritual Growth
Seven Steps to Spiritual Growth
In your last performance review where you work, were you able to tell your employer that you had done all that was expected of you? Did you meet expectations that included personal and performance improvement? If not, you probably found yourself facing an unhappy employer, at best, and you might have lost your job as well.
Fortunately God is not going to take away our salvation if we fail to meet all of His expectations, but I suggest that we do make Him unhappy when we fail to meet His expectations, one of which is become more familiar with Him. Our goal as Christians always must be to become more intimate with Him as we help others grow.
Spiritual growth often grows out of developing personal disciplines, one of which is to develop a personal model of spiritual growth. In MasterLife 4: The Disciple’s Mission of the MasterLife Series, Avery Willis offers a plan by which we not only can set a personal pattern of spiritual growth – a spiritual discipline model of sorts – but also use this same model to mentor others to become growing disciples.
Consider this plan for spiritual growth.
Make spiritual growth a commitment and priority
God created us as whole beings, and I believe that includes linking the mind and the heart to accomplish God’s plan for our lives. Decisions to growth spiritually also include willful decisions of the mind to follow through with our commitments.
Spend time with God
Christians should spend time each day connected to God. We can block off time on our calendars if we need that much discipline to focus on God. Frankly, time demands for most of us naturally interfere with what we might otherwise consider not essential each day. Spending time with God is, in fact, essential for spiritual growth.
Live in the Word
If we want to know more about God, we will learn about Him in the Bible. We know more about the heart and mind of God as we study and focus on the messages He inspired the biblical writers to record. God inhabits the Word and provided the Bible to enable us to grow spiritually.
Pray in faith
If our prayers are not coupled with confidence that God will answer our prayers, we are not praying in faith. Prayer based on faith is regular (daily) prayer that includes celebration, worship and confession as well as petitioning God with our needs or the needs of others.
Have fun with other Christians
Fellowship is an experience as well as a relationship. We are bound together with other Christians through Christ, and through Christ we develop friendships and relationships that include family as well as friends. Fellowship experiences include worship with family and friends.
Lead the lost to Christ
When Christ gave His Great Commission, He gave it to laymen who had committed their lives to obeying their Master. Witnessing and leading others to Christ was an integral part of life, not something reserved for visitation night or when we feel compelled to tell others about Jesus. Witnessing is a lifestyle.
Minister to others
Ministry is the overflow of the Christian life. True Christians have eyes to see needs and hearts sensitive to meeting those needs. Christians do not discriminate one need as more worthy of attention than others. Meeting needs as they are presented is at the heart of the ministry Jesus modeled for us.
First Steps to Spiritual Growth | South Bay Bible Church
First Steps to Spiritual Growth
Welcome to the Family of God!
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name.”
— John 1:12
Great joy takes place in Heaven when a person turns from sin to the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us there is a great celebration by the angels when a sinner repents (turns from sin) (Luke 15:10).
What follows are the first steps to growing spiritually as a new follower of Jesus.
Read the Bible
God’s Word, the Bible, contains reveals what God is like, what He thinks, and how He relates with humans, and it contains over 40,000 promises for you from God. The way to discover more about God and His promises is to read and study the Bible.
Take the Bible Challenge. Begin reading and studying at least one chapter every day in the Bible. A great place to start is the Gospel of John. It is the fourth book in the New Testament (a little over 2/3 the way through most Bibles). The chapters in John are short, easy to read, and simple to understand. Keep a pen handy to underline any verses that are especially meaningful to you, and you can place question marks in the margin of your Bible for questions that you would like to discuss with another Christian.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
— 1 Peter 2:2
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. “
— Psalm 119:105
Spend time each day in prayer talking with God. Prayer is our direct communication line to God in Heaven. You can and should pray about everything. There is no right or wrong way to pray. If you struggle with prayer, write God a letter. One idea is to start a prayer journal. Below are four areas you may want to pray through each day:
Adoration is simply adoring God in worship. This is not because God has a big ego and wants to hear how wonderful He is. Adoration and worship is to remind us how big God is. God has many attributes, and this is a time when you can think about and worship His greatness, power, might, wonder, omnipresence, grace, love, and kindness – just to name a few. Choose a different one each day and meditate on an attribute of God. Bible Helps: Exodus 15:1-2; 1 Samuel 2:1-2; 2 Samuel 22:47-51; 1 Kings 8:23-24; Psalm 27:4, 63:2-5, 73:25-26, 84:1-2, 103:1-5; Revelation 4:8-11, 5:8-14, 7:9-12, 15:3-4, 19:6-8; Proverbs 5:18-19
Confession is asking God for forgive any sin or shortcoming in your life. No Christian is perfect, and there will be times in your life when you mess up, think a bad thought, or fail to do something you should have done. Instead of beating yourself up, confess the sin to God, and ask for His forgiveness. This does not mean you should just sin and ask for forgiveness. Part of confession is repentance. If you are continually struggling with a life-dominating sin, get help by asking your pastor, another Christian, and/or a Biblical counselor for help. Bible Helps: 1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5; Romans 3:23; Psalm 52; Romans 3:23; Acts 19:18; James 4:17; 2 Peter 3:9; Acts 17:30; John 30:22-23; 1 Corinthians 10:13; John 20:19-24
Thanksgiving shows appreciation to God for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in your life. Sometimes, we express thanks by faith, especially when we are facing struggles in life. Paul, one who wrote a large part of the New Testament, tells us to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6). ” Thankgiving builds contentment in your life. Bible Helps: Psalm 28:7, 69:30, 95:1-6; 107:29-32, 34:1, 100:4; 2 Chronicles 16:8; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Supplication is presenting your requests to God. You can pray for others, and you can pray for yourself. You can pray for your church, your community, your nation, and your boss. If you are not sure what to pray for, ask God to help you. That’s okay too. Bible Helps: Philippians 4:6; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; Acts 1:14; 2 Chronicles 6:19; 1 Kings 8:28; Psalm 55:1; 1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chronicles 6:35; 1 Kings 8:45, 49
Worship God regularly in a church that teaches you the Bible, and I invite you to be our guest at South Bay Bible Church this Sunday morning at 9:00 or 11:00 a.m. Worship is vital to spiritual growth. God seeks people that worship Him, and the Bible clearly teaches the benefits and blessings of worship.
“Jesus said, ‘Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshiper will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.'”
— John 4:23
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
— Psalm 34:1
There are two important means of worship: (1) baptism and (2) the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism: Baptism is the sign that believers give to the world regarding our personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. All Christians are commanded to be baptized. For more information on baptism, CLICK HERE.
The Lord’s Supper: Jesus gave instructions to the disciples that the Lord’s Supper was to be practiced in remembrance of me. It is a time of reflection upon the great sacrifice the Lord Jesus made for us. The broken bread reminds us of His physical body that was wounded for us. The cup we drink is a reminder of His blood that He shed for us. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper the first Sunday of every month, and we invite you to join us for this special time in the church.
Fellowship with other Christians will help you grow in your faith. Fellowship is the activity where followers of Jesus Christ gather together to encourage one another in the areas of spiritual growth. The story of the earliest Christians recorded in the Bible tell us how crucial fellowship is for our lives.
“The devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
— Acts 2:42
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
— Hebrews 10:24-25
We encourage fellowship through our Community Groups. It’s like putting your spiritual life on steriods. For more information about Community Groups and fellowship within the church, CLICK HERE.
Witnessing is sharing the joy of your salvation with others. It is to your benefit to do this. “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).”
It is to the benefit of others that you do this too. Family members and friends need to know how to receive the gift of eternal life. In the Bible, after a man named Andrew met Jesus, his first response was to get his brother Peter and introduce him to Jesus. “Andrew … was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon (Peter) and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ) (John 1:40-41). “
If you have made a decision to follow Jesus, please let us know by clicking the New Believer Form below. We would like to send you some FREE resources to help and encourage you along your new journey.
7 Powerful And Effective Keys To Spiritual Growth
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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV).”
What are the keys to spiritual growth?
What is the definition of spiritual growth and why is it important? Spiritual growth is what happens in your relationship with Jesus once you’ve asked Jesus to save your soul, and the progress you make as you learn and grow as a new Christian.
In this post, you will find 7 keys to spiritual growth. There are many more I’m sure, and these are in no particular order, but this list will get you off to a great start in your journey to grow in your Christian walk. We’ll cover why spiritual growth is important and the tools that you’ll need to get there, as well as some of the hindrances to spiritual growth that you’ll find along the way.
Above all, let’s always remember the importance of prayer for spiritual growth. Prayer is essential for every life challenge. We need guidance from the Lord. Pray for wisdom and understanding so that as you study Scripture and listen to your preacher’s messages, that you discern the truth that God intends.
Prayer is essential for many of life’s challenges, including spiritual growth. What are your favorite keys to growing spiritually? #spiritualgrowth #prayerchangeslives Click To Tweet
The Bible says that we shouldn’t lean on our own understanding. This means, there’s only one interpretation of the Bible. God’s interpretation. And it’s not up to you to change the meaning in order to soften the blow on certain ideas. So let’s keep that in mind as we dig into our 7 keys to spiritual growth.
Also remember that misinterpreting the Bible is a hindrance when you’re learning how to grow spiritually. We try to avoid those hindrances as much as we can, right? So if you don’t understand something, seek guidance from your pastor or someone who has been studying the Bible a lot longer than you.
2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
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Salvation is one of the first steps to spiritual growth
Salvation is the first step in trusting the Lord. It all starts with repentance, which is the heartfelt conviction that you are a sinner. Sin is separation between you and God. But before you get worked up because I called you a sinner, it’s important to understand that we’re all sinners. Adam started it all. But Jesus, who knew no sin, took on that sin to pay the debt for all of us with His death on the cross.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Actually, so I don’t get ahead of myself, head on over to How to Grow your Faith in God for the information you need in order to accept your free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, our wonderful Savior.
At the point of salvation, you turn away from your sins to live a life that honors God. Because in salvation you’ve humbled yourself to the point where you realize you’re not in control. God is in charge and that without accepting the free gift of salvation, you are doomed to an eternal life separated from God and living in an everlasting lake of fire.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Roman’s 10: 9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For by grace are we saved through faith, not of works
So many people believe that if they are a “good person” it’s enough to get them into Heaven. But that’s not God’s way. Remember what I said earlier about leaving things up to your own interpretation? Look at what Peter tells us.
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Being a good person is relying on your own abilities. It really doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus, does it? And then if being a good person was what you needed for eternal salvation, then you would be working your way into Heaven. That would be all on you, not Jesus. If that were true, why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
But Jesus gave His life on the cross at Calvary, so that His shed blood would cover our debt of sin. Without that blood, there would be no remission or forgiveness of sins.
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Be filled with the Holy Spirit
At the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. This is our Heavenly guide. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, new believers are saved from eternal damnation, filled with God’s Spirit, sealed, and sanctified as a child of God.
The Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to God’s thoughts, teaches, guides and convicts us of God’s doctrines and the knowledge of our future. And the Holy Spirit also intercedes for Christians in prayer and in their weaknesses. Following the leadership of the Holy Spirit is one of the keys to spiritual maturity.
As you can see, the Holy Spirit is powerful, helpful and one of the necessary keys to prayer for spiritual growth in the life of a Child of God.
Hunger and thirst after righteousness
After salvation, the desire to grow in your love and knowledge of the Lord is extremely strong. We want to know Him, His character, His promises, what He desires from us and how He wants us to live. The very best way to do that is to immerse yourself in the Word of God. The Holy Bible is one of the critical keys to spiritual growth because it’s our guidebook for living.
What is really cool about the Bible is that you can learn something new every time you open it up. I have been saved and studying the Bible for half of my life and I have only scratched the surface of what the Lord has revealed to me as I pray more for how to grow spiritually.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Be sure to set time aside every day for prayer and Bible study. A great way to start your day is with these uplifting “good morning” Bible verses to start your day.
Making quiet time with the Lord a priority is a great key for spiritual growth. My friend, Danell at Faith Plus Family has a great free study called How to Study your Bible that I highly recommend.
There are tools for spiritual growth everywhere you look to help you grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The following are some of my very favorites.
Walk with God
Back in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked in the garden with the Lord. They spent time with Him. You can do that too. Walking with God is a way of life.
Learn how the Lord wants you to live, through prayer, Bible study, hearing the preaching of the Word and in learning from other Christians. It’s a daily walk. Making choices that will bring honor and glory to Jesus will always bring you blessings.
Live in obedience to God. Often we have our own desires. But God’s ways are typically not our ways. This is where the enemy always likes to step in and redirect us. One of the keys to spiritual growth is that we get good at identifying where what we are doing is different from God’s ways and to repent, humbly ask forgiveness, say a prayer for spiritual growth and course correct. As you know, it’s certainly not easy. It’s truly a lifelong struggle.
Hungering and thirsting after righteousness is a key to spiritual growth. Dig into God’s Word for a closer walk with Him. #spiritualgrowth #prayerincreasesfaith Click To Tweet
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Now let’s talk about love. Jesus commanded us in Luke to put love first in our life. Love God first, and then love everybody else. That means to do everything with a heart of love. Others should see we love Jesus by our actions. Living out these scriptures in 1 Corinthians 13 will prove who you are as a child of the King.
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Pray without ceasing
One of the steps to spiritual growth is learning to pray. There’s no perfect way to pray. My idea of praying without ceasing is to keep the conversation with the Lord going all day long.
When I’m sitting outside on our back deck and I can feel the wind on my face, hear the birds singing and the nearby creek flowing and the leaves rustling in the trees, that’s the time I praise God for the beauty of His creation. Pray before you get out of bed, before you go to sleep, and before meals.
You don’t need to hit your knees every single time. But if we’re walking with God, then we’re talking to Him like He’s right there with you all the time. Sometimes when I lose sight of my connection with the Lord, I’ll pull a chair in the room where I spend my day. I imagine Jesus in that chair.
This is one of the cool tools for spiritual growth that I use. And I talk to Him like I’m talking to a friend. Of course, don’t let this type of conversation ever take you away from those on your knees types of prayers. You need those too.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Another option is using an acronym like the ACTS method of prayer. ACTS stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication. Start by acknowledging God for who He is, then confessing your sins, thanking Him for all of your blessings, and praying supplication for others. This is a really nice way to pray when you find yourself at a loss for what to pray.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention prayer points for spiritual growth. According to this article from Elijah Notes, “A prayer point is taking a Bible principle, promise, statement, hymn, poem or affirmation, and then believe it, ask God for it and speak it into existence in your life.” The article lists 17 prayer points for spiritual growth alone, with their accompanying spiritual growth Scriptures.
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Live by the fruit of the spirit
When the Holy Spirit fills us up, we produce works that show evidence that we’re followers of Christ. Remember, we’re not saved by works. We work because we’re saved. Refer back to Ephesians 2:8-10 that I mentioned earlier. But there is 1 fruit, with 9 attributes of someone who is a child of God who is walking in the spirit. Living by the fruit of the spirit is another one of the keys to spiritual maturity.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I already wrote a guest blog post about breaking down the fruit of the spirit. So for now, let’s just paraphrase what Paul is talking about here in Galatians. Because growing in the fruit of the spirit is one of the important steps to spiritual growth.
Love is first because in the book of Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus tells His disciples to love God first and love everybody else second. As we discussed earlier, showing love proves you’re a Christian. I’m not just talking about loving people who love you back.
Love EVERYBODY! Jesus wants us to even love all of those people who are hard to love. Love like Jesus, which is the kind of love that you’ll give your life for, even for your enemies. Plus, this kind of love is truly a sign of your spiritual maturity.
Joy is an internal emotion that comes from a belief of the heart. This is not the wishy-washy happiness that goes away when somebody takes the last box of cookies at the grocery store. This is joy that comes only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Dig into some great Bible quotes about joy as well as some spiritual growth Scriptures to remind you of the importance of joy in the life of a child of God.
We have the ability to experience peace that passes all understanding once we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. This isn’t world peace. This is peace that can comfort us through every storm of life because we know that regardless of the obstacles we face, we know that God has a plan. And we know that all things will work out for our good and His glory.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
This fruit of longsuffering means that we can be patient through every single trial and affliction. God has been patient and longsuffering with us since the beginning of time. He has set up guidelines for our living. He has watched us sin, and turn away from Him time and time again, yet still He’s forgiven us. Living by the fruit of the spirit as one of the keys to spiritual growth proves we can be longsuffering and forgiving to everyone we love in our lives as well.
The meaning here for gentleness is kindness. We show kindness to others as a form of respect. We are kind, not because others deserve it. Instead, we show kindness because we love and serve like Jesus. We know often that kindness can go unnoticed and unappreciated. But as the hands and feet of Jesus we serve out of love, not because it’s a popular random act of kindness, kind of thing to do.
The Greek interpretation of this word here is generosity. Often we talk about generosity in terms of money. But Jesus didn’t have a lot of money. Yet He was more generous than any of us. So give like Jesus, with your heart, your time, your talents as well as your money.
Putting your faith in God is a huge step in spiritual growth. Faith is complete belief and confidence in God, His promises and His doctrine. Faith is believing without seeing. We can’t always see God, but we know He’s there because of the evidence He shows. When I pray for spiritual growth, I pray for the Lord to increase my faith. Then we must also be faithful toward others. They must be able to trust us because they believe that what we say and do is trustworthy.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Possessing meekness or gentleness is showing others that you are humble. You turn the other cheek when faced with a challenge. How do you respond in light of these current turbulent times? Do you join in the battle and behave with hate and discontent like so much of the world? Or do you treat others with the humble, kind and loving manner that Jesus did?
Temperance is another word for self control. This means resisting the ways of the world and living a Godly life. It certainly does take a lot of self control to turn away from the popular, sinful ways of life that come so natural for most, but are contrary to the ways of Jesus. Love others, not as the world loves, but the highest form of “agape” love like Jesus.
Growing in the fruit of the spirit no doubt takes strength, faith and a strong effort of prayer for spiritual growth. But leaning on the Lord and focusing on His will for your life will guide you each step of the way. You can do it. Let Him help you.
Walk not after the ways of the world
This is a tough one, my friend, because we live in an evil, sin-cursed world, which is a hindrance to spiritual growth. But the following two scriptures assure us that it definitely can be done. Walking away from the world means walking WITH God, like Adam and Eve did in the Garden.
However, you can’t have it both ways. Of course, if you fall off track, repent, ask for forgiveness and get back on the track. Easy peasy, right? Ummm no! But with the leadership of the Holy Spirit, backed up with the Bible verses about spiritual growth scattered throughout this post, it’s not only doable, it’s absolutely possible.
Choosing to not love the world means you make a conscious effort to choose things that give honor and glory to God. Let’s face it, though. Even David, who was a man after God’s own heart committed some major sins. What made him a man after God’s heart though, was that he recognized his sin, repented and turned back to God.
I would have to say that as long as we are living here, the best that we can do is the best we can do. When Jesus comes to take us all home, it will be a whole lot easier. But until then, who knows? What I do know is that we have a loving, Heavenly Father who is there for us every day, guiding us and comforting us all along the way.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
1 John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Make Christian fellowship a priority
A major key to spiritual growth is Christian fellowship. Christian fellowship should not just happen in church service on Sundays. But your closest friendships should be with Christians who love Jesus and believe the same things you do.
Unfortunately, for many of us, the people we spend the most time with, either at work or play, don’t have the same Christian beliefs as we do, which can be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. The Apostle Paul teaches us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. When we are saved, we need to be sanctified or set apart. The only way we can grow our spiritual life is with other believers that we can learn and grow from.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
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For my family, when churches were closed due to COVID-19, our spiritual life suffered due to not meeting. We really needed that Christian fellowship. We missed our church family. Communicating through texting and social media wasn’t the same, clearly, as being together.
Additionally, meeting online doesn’t compare to meeting in person. It doesn’t compare to listening to sermons in person and it doesn’t compare for fellowship. We are now back to our regular schedule and we are all so thankful. Because truly, one of the keys to spiritual growth is having that local Christian fellowship.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Tools for spiritual growth
All of the keys that I have given you are great tools for spiritual growth. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention just a few more tools, even though they probably go without saying.
There is no greater tool than your own personal Study Bible. Most people have more than one. But after using your Bible for years and years, it’s not unusual to know where you can find scriptures, even if you can’t remember the book, chapter and verse, it’s very likely you know where on the page it’s located. Having that kind of familiarity with your personal Word of God is one of the very greatest keys to spiritual growth. If you don’t have a really good Bible, this list of study Bibles has the most popular options.
Another one of the critical steps to spiritual growth is church membership in a local New Testament church, where you will have the closest fellowship with your Christian friends. For my family, these people are an extension of our family. We can have friendships all day long, but strong friendships with your church family will always be essential for your spiritual growth. These people will nurture and guide you in your walk with the Lord, so keep them close.
Avoid any hindrance to spiritual growth
Lastly, be sure to avoid those things that are a hindrance to spiritual growth. These hindrances would include things like surrounding yourself with worldly friends and participating in worldly activities, books, movies, etc. Don’t let these types of activities get in the way of your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Lord.
It’s easy to say things like “that will never happen to me.” But I promise you, the enemy is out there, walking to and fro, seeking out who he can devour. The bigger your desire and success at serving the Lord, the harder he fights to defeat you. That’s why he’s called the enemy. And he shows up in the people, places and things that you’re closest too.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
A constant prayer for spiritual growth is necessary to defeat the enemy. That’s why we’re instructed to pray without ceasing. If you’re not one hundred percent focused at all times on the Lord that old devil will sneak in and make trouble. It’s a tall order, I know. But stay strong. Keep that armor of God on at times because it’s your best weapon.
Well there you have it. 7 powerful and effective keys to spiritual growth that will guide you in your life as a Christian. My prayer is that you will grow stronger in the Lord on a daily basis. Dig deeper into the spiritual growth Scriptures scattered through this post. God’s Word is there to guide you. Let it!
What keys to spiritual growth have I missed? What are your favorite tools? What hindrances cause you the most trouble? Be sure and join the conversation and leave your comments below.
What are your favorite tips for learning how to grow spiritually?
Steps to Growing as a Disciple of Christ
Spiritual Maturity: Steps to Growing as a Disciple of Christ
Home > Living as a Christian
What does it
take to grow up and become spiritually mature? Why do some
Christians not grow as they should?
God’s word presents steps we
can take toward growth and spiritual maturity by Bible study,
patience, and diligent practice of good works.
People understand the concept of growth in the physical
development of humans, and we know why it is important.
Babies are immature physically and mentally, but we expect
them to develop. If they don’t, there is a problem.
My best buddy in high school did not grow and might have been
nearly a midget. But in his senior year, doctors gave him shots
to make him grow.
Spiritual growth is a similar concept but is far more
Growth is development or improvement toward a goal called
“maturity” (or, in the Bible, “perfection”).
When one is “born again” as a child of God, he is
spiritually immature. As time passes, he should develop the
qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterize the
mature. A congregation matures as individual members mature.
Many Scriptures describe the need to grow and mature
Ephesians 4:14,15 – Be no longer children, but grow up in
2 Peter 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 – The Thessalonians grew exceedingly in
Philippians 1:9 – Paul prayed for their love to abound more
Many problems result when members fail to grow: some go back
to the world, others cause strife because of ignorance or become
stumblingblocks because of irregular attendance, worldliness, or
The purpose of this lesson is to study the steps each
Christian should take to grow spiritually.
Just as a baby needs to do certain things to grow physically,
so Christians need certain kinds of activities to grow
spiritually. When members don’t grow, it is because they lack one
or more of these.
I. A DESIRE TO GROW
We Will Never Grow Unless We Want to Grow
In the physical realm, children WANT to grow.
“I want to grow up to be just like Mommy/Daddy/Michael
Jordan…” “I can’t wait till I’m 16 so I can drive.”
Parents and kids become so excited when kids learn something
new – the first step, first word, draw picture, etc. Everyone
wants them to develop new abilities.
Parents sometimes use this to encourage children. When Tim was
small, he wanted to drink milk because Bill Buckner (Cubs’ first
baseman) advertised it.
Likewise, in spiritual matters, Christians must WANT to
1 Peter 2:2 – Desire the pure milk of the word, that you may
Some seem to like being spiritual babies. They don’t want to
grow. It’s easy to be a baby – no responsibility. Others feed
you, clothe you, change your diaper. In the church, you don’t
have to teach, rebuke sin, or do work. It’s a free ride!
But being a baby is not the goal of life. We are born babies
so we can grow up and be productive and useful. Likewise, we are
born again, so we can become mature Christians, actively serving
One of the conditions for becoming a child of God is
REPENTANCE. One must determine to turn from sin and GO TO WORK in
God’s vineyard. Then one must bring forth the FRUITS of
repentance. This will lead us to grow and improve in God’s work.
Otherwise, we have not accomplished our purpose for becoming
children of God.
1 Peter 2:21 – Jesus set an example for us, and we should
follow in His steps. We should ask ourselves, “Don’t I want
to grow up to be spiritually strong like Jesus?”
B. We Must Maintain This Desire to Grow.
Some members who once wanted to grow, may lose that desire.
They may start off on fire for the Lord, but lose their zeal.
They develop a spirit of indifference or negligence.
Others develop a level of maturity and stagnate. They are
satisfied, thinking no more growth is needed.
The Scriptures teach that growth is always needed.
Philippians 3:12-14 – Even Paul, as mature as he was, did not
consider himself to have achieved perfection (maturity) such that
he could cease striving to improve. He forgot past achievements (and
failures) and pressed on to greater accomplishments.
Matthew 26:31-35 – Peter thought he had reached a level where
he would never deny Jesus. But that very night he denied Him
1 Corinthians 10:12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands
take heed lest he fall. Christians never reach the point we are
so mature that we cannot fall.
One of the main reasons Christians do not grow is that they do
not see the NEED for growing. They have no desire to work and
serve to the full extent of their ability. When people develop a
burning hunger and thirst to work for the Lord, then they will
develop the other steps they need to grow.
Do you have that burning desire to accomplish more for the
Lord? Have you set specific goals of work you want to accomplish
for God, improvements to make, new levels to reach?
A. We Need Spiritual Food from God’s Word.
A child cannot grow physically without proper food.
Good parents are concerned about proper nutrition. They want
children to eat what is good, not bad for them. We are touched by
pictures of children starving due to poverty.
Most children WANT nourishment. Babies cry for food. Once as a
child I got so hungry I cried, and my mother felt really bad.
Even adults know we need food, and don’t like to go long
without it. We want it every day, regularly, several times a day.
Likewise spiritually we cannot grow without feeding on
1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the
word, that you may grow thereby.
2 Peter 3:18 – Grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
[Eph. 4:15; Matt. 5:6]
B. To Get This Nourishment, We Must Study the
Bible and Attend Church Meetings.
Scriptures show the need for regular nourishment.
Hebrews 5:11-14 – Christians were rebuked for not growing as
they should have, because they had not studied. Time and again
members fall away or are spiritual midgets because they do not
Acts 17:11 – Bereans were able to determine whether truth was
taught because they searched the Scriptures DAILY. We need
Psalm 1:1,2 – Meditate on God’s word day and night. Children
and adults need physical food regularly, and get very upset
without it. But are we content to go for days at a time without
feeding on God’s word? [119:47,48,95-99; Josh 1:8]
Do we make use of the opportunities the church provides for
nourishment? I never ceased to be amazed when the church provides
a spiritual feast, and members choose to do other things. How
often do we miss the regular meals provided for our bellies?
Take this test to check your spiritual nourishment.
How much time did you spend this week watching TV?
How much time watching sports or entertainment, or reading the
paper, magazines, etc.?
How much time did you spend on some hobby or outside interest,
that may not be immoral but is not necessary?
How many hours did you spend studying your Bible?
How many services of the church did you attend? How many did
you miss that you could have attended?
Which do you nourish the best: your spirit or your body? Are
you feeding your mind on God’s word or pleasures?
Christians need regular nourishment from God’s word to grow.
III. EXERCISE AND PRACTICE
A. Exercise and Practice Are Essential to
Athletes & musicians know they must exercise and
practice to improve.
Developing skills requires continual repetition: playing a
song, throwing pitches, shooting baskets.
Athletes run, lift weights, and practice hour after hour in
order to grow strong and develop endurance.
Illustration: A man once had an apartment next to a
professional cello player. He thought it must be exciting to play
in an orchestra. Then he listened as the man practiced the
scales, exercises, and songs endlessly.
Children practice skills over and over to learn them.
Children learning to walk try again and again. They are proud
to learn a new word, then they use it till they drive you crazy!
They want to play the same thing over and over: play the same
tape recording, put the clothes on a doll.
Parents encourage children to repeat what they must learn:
drill math facts, spelling, reading, piano. They get tired, but
we encourage them because that’s how they learn.
“Practice makes perfect” – or at least it promotes
B. Exercise and Practice Are Essential to
Hebrews 5:14 – Those who are of full age, by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Growth
requires exercise as well as nourishment.
1 Timothy 4:7 – Exercise yourself toward godliness.
Like children, athletes, and musicians, we must work again and
again at applying Bible principles to become effective in the
To learn to TEACH, we must do it repeatedly: teach your
children, home studies, Bible classes, preach sermons, again and
To learn to LEAD SINGING, practice songs at home, sing with
your family, lead during church meetings over and over.
To understand the BIBLE, study it again and again, talk to
others, drill yourself, memorize. Get in and dig.
To learn to PRAY, do it over and over.
Kids may not be good at activities at first, but parents
encourage them to do it over and over. Likewise, older members
must encourage the newer ones to use their talents. They may not
be skilled at first, but they learn by doing.
We need to encourage teachers, preachers, and song leaders.
Don’t complain. Surely don’t stay home. They need the practice!
IV. TIME AND PATIENCE
By definition, growth requires TIME. It is progress and
development as time passes. Several important lessons follow:
Don’t Expect to Reach Your Goal Overnight.
Children do not become full-grown instantaneously.
At birth they are so small you can hold them in a little
basket. Soon they are outgrowing new clothes every month.
Eventually they can wear their parents’ clothes or even larger.
But it takes time.
Sometimes children become impatient. “I can’t wait till
I’m 18 (or 21).” We say, “Take your time. It will come
soon enough.” Time passes and, sure enough, what they were
waiting for has come and gone, and they’re looking back wondering
how the time passed so fast!
Likewise spiritually, do not expect maturity overnight.
James 1:4 – To become perfect and mature (entire), lacking
nothing, we must have patience.
Some new-born Christians want to know everything and do
everything right away. They may not be willing to take the TIME
to STUDY and DEVELOP ability. Yet they want to be just like the
mature members – and want other members to treat them with the
same respect that they do mature members – before they have taken
time to grow.
Sometimes older members are impatient with new members. We
don’t understand why new converts have trouble with some basic
concepts. Then sometimes these new members explain, “I never
was really taught what the BIBLE said before.” They have no
background in the Scriptures, and it takes TIME to grow.
Remember that people who may be mature today did not get that
way overnight. It took years of study and practice. And new
converts will not become mature overnight. It will take time.
New members should not get discouraged and give up. Older
members should not be impatient or overly demanding. Remember how
our children took time to grow, and how we had to show patience
with their immature ways as they grew. But growth will come as
long as people are trying and we give them time.
B. Don’t Become Discouraged by Mistakes and
Children make many mistakes and must often be told they
How often does a child fall while learning to walk? They fall
again and again, gathering bumps and bruises. They spill their
milk, don’t hold their spoon properly, fall off their bikes, and
come to bat in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run in
scoring position and strike out.
Parents are continually correcting, instructing, and
punishing, till we almost feel sorry for the kids. Growing up is
If kids are going to become mature, they have to keep going in
spite of mistakes and rebukes. And someday they will look back on
their own childish mistakes and just smile.
Likewise, new converts will make many mistakes and must
often be told they are wrong.
Some of the greatest Bible characters committed terrible
errors and had to be rebuked.
* Moses made excuses when God called him to lead Israel out of
* David committed adultery with Bathsheeba and was rebuked by
* Peter denied Jesus three times.
* Paul persecuted Christians before his conversion.
* Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection.
* All the apostles forsook Jesus when He was arrested and
Matthew 16:21-23 – Shortly after he had confessed Jesus and
been highly praised (v15-18), Peter contradicted Jesus and was
Yet all of these are remembered as some of God’s greatest
Great servants are not people who live without ever sinning,
but people who learn from their mistakes and go on to serve God
Judas betrayed Jesus and is remembered as a traitor. Peter
denied Jesus three times and is remembered as a great apostle.
What is the difference? Judas, after betraying Jesus, hung
himself. Peter, after denying Jesus, repented and went to work
preaching the gospel.
Proverbs 29:1 – A person is destroyed, not simply because he
errs, but because he becomes stubborn when he is rebuked and will
not repent. What is needed is repentance and patience to learn to
The story is told of a little boy who fell out of bed. Asked
what happened, he said, “I guess I just stayed too close to
the gettin’-in place.” That is exactly why many people fall
away from God after their conversion – they stay too close to the
“gettin’-in” place and do not grow to maturity.
It is no shame to be a baby, if you were born a few months ago.
But if a person has been a child of God for several years and has
not grown, he has a problem.
Everyone needs to grow as a Christian, and everyone can grow,
if he/she simply applies the Bible principles of growth.
Note: If you wish to study further about topics mentioned in
this lesson, please note the links listed below.
Copyright 1968,David E. Pratte; www.gospelway.com
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The Importance of Bible Knowledge
How to Study the Bible
What Is Required after Baptism?
Why We Need Salvation from sin
How Can You Be Sure of Forgiveness?
Is Jesus Really Your Lord?
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But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
Not many people can say that on the day they were saved, someone explained the steps to spiritual growth. Unfortunately, some believers never hear how to develop in their relationship with the Lord. Since none of us matures as a Christian without taking action, Peter instructs believers, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Pe 3:18).
Then how are we to grow? Second Peter 1:3 promises, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life.” It is God who transforms us into his image, but it is our responsibility to implement all that he teaches us. Second Peter 1:5-7 continues, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
The Bible gives us powerful principles about how to do so:
First, we are responsible for renewing our minds (Ro 12:2). Though God saves us and gives us a new spirit, it is our duty to control our thoughts and focus our minds on what honors him, so that our minds can be transformed. Therefore, we must meditate on the Word, considering what it means and applying the truth we discover to our lives.
Second, we must be ready to admit our failures and assume responsibility for them. When we deny our sins, we delay our spiritual growth. But when we confess our transgressions, the opposite happens – we mature because we admit our dependence upon God. John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:9).
The third step naturally follows the second – after confession should come repentance. This is more than acknowledging wrongdoing or promising to try harder. Repentance means we commit to making an about-face and heading in the opposite direction from our sin. Paul taught, “Repent and turn to God and demonstrate [your] repentance by [your] deeds” (Ac 26:20). Instead of behavior that is unbecoming to a believer, the fruit of the Spirit produced in us – “Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).
God’s ultimate goal is for all believers to become more Christ-like. That happens only when, through faith, we obey his commands and implement his principles.
Which of the 3 principles above is hardest for you?
5 Practical Steps to Spiritual Growth – The Resilience Institute
[clickToTweet tweet=”Beside the search for your soul there is nothing.” quote=”Beside the search for your soul there is nothing.
After food, sleep, love and work arises the question: “who am I and why am I here?” This is the voice of the soul seeking identity and connection.
The quote above, from BKS Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras), states that it is the only question and the only reality.
Humans sense the presence of soul and spirit. It is tricky to experience and define. In the hyperactive, consumption-driven world of today, the contemplative life is a distant dream. Or, more kindly, the flood of shallow nonsense keeps us so bloated there is simply no time left.
What are we to do with the nagging hunger for meaning?
“Who am I?” is the question of identity. At your deepest, purest and simplest expression sits the soul. Rarely do we give it much attention. Mindless activity, cravings, anxiety and distraction overwhelm the experience and voice of soul. We must search.
“ Why am I here?” is a question of connection to spirit (or God). Spirit is the manifest reality of the moment and the universe. We connect to spirit through our breath, physical presence, emotional resonance and intellect. With identity and love, creation begins.
The spiritual journey is thus a two-fold path of discovery. First, can we discern and present the soul to consciousness? Second, through the experience of soul can we connect to Spirit?
We have a well-tested method to create a better life and better business. If this journey up the spiral continues we will find ourselves “knocking on heaven’s door.”
A Framework for Spiritual Growth
Simply resting your attention on the spiral evokes a “YES” to more altitude. No one wants to suffer. We seek calm, energy, positivity and clarity. We can all agree that the capacity to bounce out of adversity and move up towards more healthy, positive and constructive states of being is intuitively right. This is vertical growth rather than the horizontal dash for food, qualifications, jobs, houses and wealth. When we ask the question “who am I?” we want to define ourselves in the upper spirals.
Insight helps us recognise our altitude and to detect the subtle currents moving us up and down. Insight within the framework triggers an impulse to move up. We want it! This is the beginning of desire and the source of motivation to grow up.
It is important to distinguish temporary states from stages. A state occurs with bad news (downwards) or good news or drugs (upwards). Chaotic state change happens in bipolar depression. It is traumatic for all as the patient lurches from hope, excitement, super-confidence and mania back down to despair and depression.
We seek stage development. While not every stage is equally important, we have no doubt they all contribute in a logical progression. Mastery is the practice of moving upwards in a progressive, skilful and stable way. We start with physiology and work through body, emotion and mind. There are five stages to master:
Here we become competent at bounce and mastering a calm, focused and connected state. Sourced in prayer and contemplation, every spiritual tradition has a well-articulated method. If we can achieve this on demand and in critical moments we are on the spiritual journey. Posture, exhalation, muscular relaxation and parasympathetic activity are very concrete tools we can learn, practice and master.
2. Energise Body
When calm we sleep better. A relaxed body eats with natural wisdom. The cravings for sugars, salts and stimulants settle. The human being is a moving system and the body is our most concrete tool for practice. By working attentively with our muscles we stimulate awareness, health and vitality. This level has been missed from many spiritual traditions and remains the challenge of our time. Most importantly, it is through physical discipline that we build capacity to master the more slippery and subtle emotions and mind.
3. Engage Emotion
Emotion bridges body and mind. Emotion moves both body and mind. Destructive emotions like anger, fear and sadness send us – and those we travel with – spiralling down. Neurobiologist Antonio Damasio casts emotion as the central character in the journey to spirit. Positive energy feeds constructive emotion. Constructive emotions – peace, joy, contentment, love and gratitude shine brightly in the enlightened. It is this resonance that we seek more than anything.
As your emotional literacy and mastery increase, you become more calm and healthy. The key is recognition that emotion drives the mind. In destructive emotion we lose control of the mind and thereby our actions. Constructive emotion enables clear thinking, decisiveness, compassion and agility.
4. Train Mind
We are inclined to mindless thoughts. While initiated by emotion, chaotic thinking can quickly become habit. For example, fear and anxiety trigger cycles of worry. Worry then becomes a habit and recycles the fear in a never-ending loop. Mostly, thinking causes suffering and removes us from the experience of life as it unfolds in the moment. The spiritual journey requires calm, clear and steady attention. On the strong base built from 1,2 and 3, the mind becomes strong and agile. We can then see and realise soul.
5. Spirit in Action
When body, heart and mind are trained and mastered, the lens of spirit is clear and focused. We experience ourselves with clarity. “Who am I?” becomes evident. How we express the soul becomes obvious. Now we begin to see the world more clearly. “Why am I here?” becomes obvious. We align our highest self, through skilful means with a worthy purpose. Soul and spirit are always present. We have to take the inward journey of insight and mastery to see this creative impulse of your life.
Nothing is more important.
- Spirit in Action sits waiting. Understand what is holding you back. Focus here.
- We all have strengths. Build your spiritual practice through your strengths – relaxation, physicality, positivity, and meditation.
- Learn to soften your consciousness down into the body and emotions as you exhale
- Activate the spine and energise as you inhale
- Seek moments to sense beauty, appreciate the ride and act with kindness
- Find your rhythm of deliberate practice and compassionate release (let it be)
- As you see yourself more clearly, your talents and skills are the catalyst that drives connection. When your talents match the right challenge in the state of flow you will realise spirit.
- Be playful
- Be resolute
- Be kind
The Stages of Spiritual Growth and Freedom
In a recent webinar on the Stages of Spiritual Growth and Freedom there are four points to keep in mind when approaching the dynamic of the spiritual life. She related these points to one’s human development, as well as describing how spiritual direction can aid this process.
Here are some highlights:
The Definition of the Human Person
Beginning the webinar with an introduction to anthropology rooted in the Scripture and Tradition of the Church, Victoria walked attendees through a synthesis of Catholic teachings on the human person. As Genesis 1:26 states, “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness,” man is made “Imago Dei”, in the image and likeness of God. This is the foundation of our profound dignity as human persons: that we are created in the image and likeness of God, who is a communion of persons in the Holy Trinity. We are earthly creatures (i.e. have a physical body) and yet have a spiritual nature as well, indicating that we are made for something beyond this life. In fact, we are made for someone beyond this life, God himself. We are created for relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters.
Dynamism of Holiness
In light of this anthropology, Victoria described how our dignity as human beings is fulfilled by reaching divine beatitude, or in other words, eternal life with God in heaven. As we move through life, we are on a dynamic, though gradual journey toward intimacy with God. Again, taking note from the Scriptures, Victoria shared how the people of the Old Testament as well as many figures from the Gospels experienced the journey to God gradually. Throughout salvation history, God reveals himself to the people of Israel slowly, and then fully in the Incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ. It is this same method that God reveals himself to us in prayer and in our response to his grace. Our path toward holiness is a gradual one that is only possible by grace.
Spiritual Growth and Progression
This gradual growth generally involves three stages of development: the purgative stage, the illuminative stage, and the unitive stage. While these stages are not perfectly linear, they tend to mirror the stages of our human development: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In the purgative stage, one experiences his or her initial conversion and responds to grace by moving away from a life of sin and pursuing a life of virtue. The illuminative stage involves a state of recollection. In fact, “the fundamental virtue of this state is recollection, that is, a constant attention of the mind and of the affections of the heart to thoughts and sentiments which elevate the soul to God.” In this stage, one begins to take on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. Finally, the unitive stage is one in which a person experiences union with God by love and the actual experience and exercise of that love. Here prayer becomes more contemplative and virtue becomes more mature, almost heroic. An example of this stage would be St. Maximilian Kolbe, who offered his life for another prisoner during the Holocaust. He did so with heroic love and courage, and also with a sense of peace and humility, demonstrating a high degree of holiness and spiritual maturity.
The Role and Application of Spiritual Direction
In each of these stages, a spiritual director can be helpful and even necessary to sustain one’s growth in holiness. In the purgative stage, a director can be a source of motivation to help the directee take active steps in moving away from a life of sin and toward virtue. In the illuminative stage, a director can help watch and identify the hand of God in your life. Lastly, during the unitive stage, the director can help identify the nuances of growth and help the directee stay the course.
The role of spiritual direction in the development of the spiritual life is an indispensable gift. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a director, the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program offers an integration of theological and human sciences, as they relate to spiritual direction; learning the art and skills of human interactions and the fruitful experience of supervision. The program includes six online classes, two four-day onsite residencies and a practicum.
Want to learn more about Spiritual Direction? Request additional information online to learn about the courses, faculty and the path towards becoming a Spiritual Director.
90,000 8 Laws of Spiritual Growth
The process of mentoring is based on the belief that if we are focused on building people, God will build the church. By studying how Jesus helped people grow spiritually, Rick Warren discovered these eight principles of spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth is deliberate
Spiritual growth is not accidental. You must have the intention to grow; you must consciously choose growth.
This means we grow with commitment.People in the church are at one of six levels of commitment: society, crowd, community, ideological, core, and sent.
Society is any person within a transportable distance of the Saddleback Church. There is no obligation at this social level.
We want to ensure that people from the “community” level come to Sunday services, we want to transfer them from the community to the “crowd”. What does it take to be part of the crowd? One commitment is going to church.Next, we want people from church goers to become church members – from the crowd to become part of the community. At Saddleback, you do this by recognizing Jesus as your Savior, being baptized by water and attending our membership seminars (CLASS 101), and by signing a membership covenant.
Then people move from the community to the “ideological”. We do this through classes called CLASS 201, where we teach spiritual growth skills. The class does not mature you, it just shows you what it takes and ends with an opportunity to make a commitment to spiritual growth.From the level of “ideological” people move to the core – serving Christ, serving others. They enter CLASS 301, sign a ministry covenant, explore their strengths and weaknesses in S.H.A.P.E. ( Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experience – spiritual gifts, heart, ability, personality, experience ) and begin active ministry.
The messengers are people who have gone all the way and go not just into church ministry, but on a mission. They pass CLASS 401 and commit to go around the world as Christ commanded.
One of our missions as leaders is to help people move to the next level of commitment.
Spiritual growth is constantly increasing
We know this is true of physical growth – so why not spiritual growth? We know that children grow up, going through certain stages of development: first they learn to breathe, then they learn to eat. Then they learn to walk. Then they learn to speak. No child breaks the sequence of these steps. These are development steps.
The same is true in your spiritual growth. The order that we have here at Saddleback is all about helping people draw closer to Christ: knowing Christ, then loving Christ, then growing in Christ, after serving Christ and sharing Christ. These are systematic steps in spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth is personal
You cannot mass-produce disciples, because everyone is different. There is no one size fits all for spiritual growth.To be a follower is to be a disciple, which is what the word follower literally means. Because we are all different, we learn in different ways. For example, some learn better by listening; others reading; some discussing, and some – carrying out various projects.
One of the main mechanisms we use to help people grow personally is our annual growth campaign. In these campaigns, the whole church is focused on the area of personal growth: 40 days of Purpose, 40 days in the Word, 40 days of Love, etc.e. Our 2013 campaign was about “Why am I on this earth?” In these campaigns, the entire church learns the same thing for six weeks. We use different teaching methods so that everyone can grow: people will hear it on Sundays, they will read it in books, they will discuss in small groups, memorize verses about it, and they will make projects about it. One of these methods will help them learn best.
Spiritual Growth Is Practical
God gives us practical ways to participate in the growth that He produces.One of the goals of the church is to help people develop good spiritual habits. They are called spiritual disciplines or godly practices, but in reality they are just habits.
For example, we inspire the habit of spending time with God every day. Prayer is also a spiritual habit. Bible study is a spiritual habit. Tithing and small group attendance are spiritual habits. In the end, we will become what we habitually do. It is simply impossible to try to become a follower of Jesus without developing the skills of a disciple.
Spiritual growth, interpersonal
We grow only in communication with other people. This is one of the most misunderstood facts among American Christianity. American Christians think they can grow alone. If I have the Bible and Jesus, I don’t need anyone else. This type of thinking is wrong! You cannot grow without the church. The Bible says in Hebrews 10: 24-25: “Let us be attentive to one another, encouraging one another to love and good works.Let’s not neglect the opportunity to meet each other, which some, unfortunately, neglect. Let’s encourage each other … ” (Modern translation)
Spiritual growth is multifaceted
We learned that for growth you need to consider all five goals. We should become heartier through friendship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, wider through service, and more through mission.
If you go to the gym and are given a coach, he will work with you in areas where you are weak.Do you have weak shoulders? They will work on your shoulders. Weak knees? So let’s work on your knees. Spiritual growth is like physical therapy — God wants to strengthen us in each of His purposes.
Of course, this means that you, as a church leader, cannot do all the work alone. We don’t have to do this alone! Ephesians 4 tells us 90,019 to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” . If I had to start a church again today, I would bring a volunteer leader with me to help me with each of these five goals, so that he can grow by helping the church grow.At Saddleback, we now have an entire team dedicated to helping people grow in each of these five goals.
Seasonal Spiritual Growth
You can help people free themselves from guilt when you help them understand the truth that spiritual growth is seasonal in nature. Nobody grows all the time at a constant rate. Plants do not grow all the time: they grow in spring and summer, and then doze off during fall and winter. The same is true in our lives. Some go through the winter: “I just don’t see any growth right now, even though I’m doing the right thing to grow” .Everything is fine. This is part of life. In fact, there are some things that happen in winter and don’t happen in spring and summer. You are strengthening your roots in the fall and winter for the next spring when you have the next stage of growth and fruiting.
Spiritual growth embodying
The final truth is that growth is not about something that you can complete; rather, it is about the person of Jesus living in you. Galatians 2:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.And what I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ”
The purpose of a Christian’s life is to live like Christ. But these are not your attempts to be like Jesus; it is entrust Jesus to live in you. The secret of the Christian life is not imitation, but incarnation – allowing Christ to live through us. No one can live like Jesus better than Jesus!
None of these eight principles of growth can take place through our own efforts.This is God working in us through the cross. We need to keep this in mind both for our own growth and for the growth of the church. It frees us from the frustration of feeling like we can’t get what we want, and it frees us from the even more dangerous temptation to try and do it on our own. Let us become builders and, through the guidance of Jesus, following the biblical principles of spiritual growth, God will build His Church!
Created by Tom Holladay / pastors.com
Translation – Tatiana Lukoschenko for ieshua.org
Introduction to the topic: Spiritual growth
What does it mean to grow and be strengthened in faith?
God wants us to grow and mature spiritually. From the moment we entrusted our lives to God, He is constantly working in us. He wants us to become more and more the people He intended us to be. How does growth happen, and what are the key points that help us on the path to spiritual maturity?
How does growth happen?
Watch this short video of a sunflower growing.
- What conditions are necessary for normal plant growth?
- What is required for human growth?
Why is growth so important?
Highly educated people are interested in the topic of personal growth. People develop step-by-step plans to help them achieve their goals. People strive to grow and develop intellectually as well as emotionally and socially in order to improve their quality of life.Lack of maturity greatly limits a person’s ability to achieve their goals and leads to frustration.
- What has contributed significantly to your growth and maturity in your life?
Time and a healthy atmosphere are two components without which spiritual or any kind of growth is impossible.
A believer who does not develop and does not strive for maturity will surely face disappointment, setbacks, conflicts, broken relationships.Sins will continue to spoil his life, and he will not be able to experience life in peace, strength and victory. And this is not at all what God intended for us.
God calls His disciples to grow. He wants our lives to bear fruit (1 Corinthians 14:20). He wants to help us reach spiritual maturity and gives us the strength we need to do so.
How the first Church grew
Book of Acts of St. The Apostles is a historical overview of the life of the first believers after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.In the second chapter, Peter – one of the leaders of the first Church – preaches to a huge crowd. As a result, many people chose to believe in Jesus Christ and receive the remission of sins. This passage from the book of the Acts of St. The Apostles shows how the group of new believers lived and what characterized the spiritual growth of the believers of that time.
Acts of St. Apostles 2: 42-47
And they continually dwelt in the teaching of the Apostles, in the fellowship and breaking of bread, and in prayer. But there was fear in every soul; and many signs and wonders were done through the Apostles in Jerusalem.Yet the believers were together and had everything in common. And they sold estates and all kinds of property, and shared them with everyone, depending on the need of each. And every day they stayed with one accord in the temple and, breaking bread from house to house, ate their food with joy and simplicity of heart, praising God and being in love with all the people. The Lord added those who were being saved to the Church every day.
Let’s look at four important elements that help every believer on the path to spiritual maturity.
1. Dedication to God’s Word
Acts of St.Apostles 2:42
… They were constantly in the teaching of the Apostles …
They showed diligence and consistency in studying and preaching God’s Word. They constantly dwelt in the teaching of the apostles, never abandoning it. They strove to grow in their faith, in the knowledge of God, which they heard about through the preaching of the Gospel.
The Bible is God’s letter to us. Through God’s Word, we learn God’s character and purpose. Dedicating yourself to the Word means reading it, meditating on it, and applying these truths in your life.Time in God’s Word will help us to know and understand God’s desire and His plan for our lives. This leads to spiritual maturity.
2. Dedication to communication
Acts of St. Apostles 2:42
… They were constantly in … fellowship and breaking bread …
- Why do you think the early Christians met so often for fellowship?
- Do you have this kind of fellowship with other believers? If not, where can you find such communication?
We all need the encouragement and support of others to stand firm in God, abide in His Word, love and do good deeds.We need fellowship with people who know God and who can help us in our relationship with Him.
3. Dedication to prayer
Acts of St. Apostles 2:42
… They were constantly in … prayers.
- What motivates believers to pray?
Prayer, in simple terms, is a conversation with God. Through prayer we know God in action. We can express our thoughts, feelings, joy, disappointment and anxiety in it.Prayer enables us to see how God is responding to us and to experience His power, wisdom, and goodness.
4. Dedication to spreading the Good News
Acts of St. Apostles 2:47
But the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved.
In the book of Acts of St. The apostles describe the community of believers. As we read about them, we learn over and over again that God increased the number of those who believed.
- Why and how do you think God increased the number of those who believed?
- Is it the responsibility of every believer to tell people about Christ? Why?
People become disciples of Christ, deciding to follow Him after they hear the Gospel.God uses people who already know Him and follow Him so that others can hear the good news from them. Each of us learned about Christ because someone once told us about His love and forgiveness. This is one of the ways that God has chosen for people to learn the truth about what God has done for people. We proclaim the good news of Christ in our own words and we establish it by the example of our lives.
By proclaiming the gospel, we show obedience to God. People turn to God because God Himself works in their hearts.People come to faith precisely because of God’s power and His action in their lives. But at the same time, God wants to use us, His disciples, so that others will hear the gospel of Christ.
An atmosphere of growth
People need relationships to grow. The right environment for growth involves three elements: grace, truth, and time.
An atmosphere of grace
We make mistakes when we grow. But if mistakes are forgiven, then there is no need for us to win the love, affection, and acceptance of others.An atmosphere of grace helps us overcome our shortcomings as we continue to progress towards maturity and learn from our mistakes.
Atmosphere of Truth
Such an atmosphere is possible only where we are ready to hear the Word of God, which challenges us, encourages, corrects and helps. We need to hear what will help us change. We cannot grow if we do not learn to understand and accept the truth. It is the truth that enables us to see the spheres, the traits that interfere with our growth.Truth is not terrible if a person is surrounded by grace.
We are supported by the very fact that there is Someone in our life, Who will always be with us. Remember the plant from the video you watched at the beginning of the lesson. Growth doesn’t happen overnight. It happens step by step over time. Maturity cannot be achieved by looking for shortcuts.
Think about your life and the growth that occurs in the context of relationships.
- Who can be the person in your life who can help you grow by speaking the truth in an atmosphere of grace?
- Which of these three elements (grace, truth and time) is most lacking in your life right now?
- What can you do to change this situation?
Have questions? Want to talk to someone about this topic?
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In the fifth step of a series of 10 steps to change your life for the better, we’ll talk about how successful people approach admissions. We will think about why people without success often have problems accepting what others have to offer them, and what the consequences are.
Successful people know how to accept
Successful people have no problem accepting what their environment has to offer.They proceed from the fact that wages are due for the services rendered. If these actions are performed in a charity plan, then it goes without saying that payment in this case is not expected. In all other cases, if someone offers them such payment, they are willingly accepted.
Successful people have no problem accepting unexpected gifts or additional funds. They are convinced that if someone wants to thank them, then they cannot refuse. If someone, for a service they have done, offers a salary that is higher than agreed in advance, they have no problem accepting the surplus.If someone wants to give them a gift, they believe that by not receiving such a gift, they may offend the giver.
The only acceptance limit is legality. If receiving a higher payment or gift in the circumstances does not constitute a prohibited act, then there is no reason for refusal. The boundary for admission is not whether a person deserves to receive a certain thing or amount of money or not. Successful people assume that if someone wants to reward them or give them a gift, it means that they are quite worthy to receive such a reward or gift.
Unsuccessful people often refuse
Unsuccessful people have big problems with admission. When someone wants to give them a gift or an amount higher than what they expected, their first reaction is “but this is too much” or “I cannot accept it”. Then, despite the persistence of the donor, they basically try not to accept the gift. But, if in the end they accept the gift, they repeat several times that the gift “was not needed”, that it was “an extra expense”, etc.
Interestingly, such people very often like to give to others.They feel joy when they can give something to someone and please him. Even if they themselves are not very rich, this joy gives them the opportunity to bestow others. They know very well how they themselves do not like it when someone refuses to accept a gift from them. They know that when someone is gifted, their greatest reward is the joy of the person who receives the gift. Despite this, they themselves have problems with reception. Although such people themselves repeatedly give gifts and understand how boring it is when they are not allowed to enjoy the process of giving a gift.
Unsuccessful people also have problems accepting payment for services rendered. They consist in the fact that for certain services they can only receive certain money, and when someone offers them more, they refuse. When someone wants to present them with a reward for the performance of a service, they refuse only because this person is familiar, close, etc. Over time, the circle of friends and relatives begins to expand excessively, and charitable work begins to become a part of their life.
Why is this happening? The reasons lie in three beliefs on which unsuccessful people often base their thinking.
First conviction: I shouldn’t
A very common argument of unsuccessful people is that in this case they should not accept certain things. Don’t accept rewards from friends; you should not receive a higher payment for your services; do not accept a gift for which you do not “deserve”.
Such people simply forget that it is not the service provider, that it is not worth accepting remuneration for its performance, and the client should not not pay for someone else’s work.It is not to offer a payment to a friend that is a serious oversight, and not at all for the performer to receive a reward. These people forget that in market conditions their service costs as much as the buyer wants to pay for it. If he wants to pay more, it only means that this service costs so much for him. It is also forgotten that a gift is – by definition – something free; things that don’t need to be earned.
Second belief: I am not worthy
Frequent refusal can also be associated with low self-esteem.People without success are often convinced that they don’t deserve to get certain things, so they refuse to accept them. They even often have trouble receiving compliments. When they hear a compliment, instead of politely smiling and thanking them, they seek out the latent intent of the complimentor or quickly reflect it.
The problem is that in fact what we are worthy and what we are not, each of us sets individually. This is usually associated with self-esteem.If we believe that our value is high, then we are ready to accept more. If we value ourselves low, then automatically we admit that we deserve less. As you can easily see, our approach to our value is expressed in a simple way in how much we are able to accept.
You can imagine that our ability to accept is like a bag, the capacity of which determines the number and size of items that we can accept. The larger the bag we have, the more we are able to take.If our beliefs prevent us from acquiring a large bag, our ability to accept is severely limited. However, if our beliefs allow us to have a big bag, our admission capacity will grow.
Belief three: I don’t want to feel obligated
Many people, instead of enjoying the gift they receive, focus on the obligation of the reciprocal gift. The idea of the need for a return gift not only darkens the joy of receiving it, but is often a reason for refusing to accept it.
The belief that every gift must be reciprocated comes directly from the way of thinking described above. If we accept that a gift (many things can be hidden under this concept, for example, a gift, a service, a compliment) has a certain meaning, and the person who received the gift has a conviction about the duty of a mutual gift, then it turns out that the received value should be returned. What’s the point? Both sides don’t really get anything.
The debt repayment belief follows from the fact that subconsciously we think that we are not worthy to receive something extra.Our beliefs about our value tell us that we don’t deserve for the gift we receive, so – to settle scores and get rid of this state of enrichment – we have prepared a mutual gift.
Problem of the fifth step
We urge you to try to expand your “gift bag” in the coming week. Even if the thought arises in your head that you rarely receive gifts, try to start accepting what the environment offers you. A gift can be a higher payment, an unexpected gift, or even an affectionate word.If someone gives you a gift, accept it with joy and thank the donor. See what joy you give him and yourself. Smile and say to yourself: “I deserve it.” Don’t give a mutual gift instantly. If, for example, you hear a compliment, say thank you; do not immediately pick up a compliment to your donor.
We also urge you so that during the pre-New Year shopping rush you do not forget how to give small gifts to yourself. We recommend that you set aside a certain portion of your budget to create your pleasure.It’s a good idea to set a certain amount for yourself that every month, without remorse, you can spend on creating pleasure for yourself, which will help you expand your “bag”.
Another step in a series of 10 steps to change your life for the better is devoted to the issue of our approach to people of success. How we see successful people can make up our own success.
With the help of some generalizations, we can determine how to name a successful person who has achieved a certain goal in a certain area.A successful person is an athlete who has achieved mastery in the sports discipline you are interested in, an entrepreneur whose business brings high profits, a financier, an artist whose works are appreciated by wide audiences, etc. There are many examples.
There is no doubt that each of us defines success differently and accepts other versions of this concept. Nevertheless, although success is a relative concept, most of us intuitively can conclude whether a particular person is successful or not.We will not go into details and repeat about who we can consider as a person of success and who is not. Let’s assume that each of us in his own way can determine the circle of persons whom he recognizes as successful.
In this step, we will reflect on the attitude towards the so-called successful people. We will focus on how different people react to the success of third parties, and how the success of others can affect our own success.
Successful people learn from successful people
Successful people know that imitation is an important part of our upbringing.Evolution has created us in such a way that everything that we possibly can draw from the experience of the people around us. Thanks to this, each new generation should not rediscover the same truths that have long been discovered. Young children imitate the behavior of their parents, and create in themselves certain skills and thinking patterns. Slightly older people imitate and adopt the behavior and beliefs of people from the environment in which they function. Whether we want it or not, there is a lot of truth in the statement: with whom you behave, from that you will be typed.
Successful people know the influence of who they are with in shaping their personality, naturally cling to other people who have also achieved success (including those who have succeeded more than themselves). They understand that the influence of such people can positively influence the formation of their own behavior and thinking. Gaining knowledge and motivation from those who are better than us is one of the best and easiest ways to form the beliefs that will enable us to become better.
Even if successful people do not fully understand how the above scheme works, they subconsciously turn to people who are at the same or higher “level” of success, fame, etc. Although at first glance It may seem that elite clubs and similar meeting places for people of the rich and famous are created only to satisfy the vanity of such people, however, they have a radically different meaning. They enable such people to communicate and satisfy their natural urge to mutually extract knowledge, experience and motivation for action.Thanks to this, people of success – even if they do not acquire anything new – at least fix in themselves the beliefs that led them to the modern standard of living.
Although jealousy and envy, derived from the combination of jealousy and disappointment, are obvious features of every person’s life, successful people try to limit the feeling of envy as much as possible. If jealousy is an element of the incentive mechanism that allows you to go to the top (in a nutshell: someone has X> I also want to have X> I am looking for ways to conquer X> I aim for X), then envy implies a lack of activity and regression (in a nutshell: someone has X> I don’t have X> I feel psychological discomfort because of this> I assign the blame for my discomfort to the one who has X).
Successful people avoid envy as a sense that has no rational basis and blocks development. In exchange, they experience a natural attraction to other people of success, and their jealousy turns into admiration for their accomplishments. This impulse pushes them towards closer contacts with people of success (also with people better than themselves). This allows them to soak up beliefs and behaviors from other successful people that contribute to personal development and success.
Unsuccessful people, do not like successful people
People without success, as a rule, are unfriendly towards successful people. They can admire people whose achievements can be associated with natural, innate talents (for example, athletes, actors), but most successful people cause negative feelings in them.
Why is this happening? Sources can be found in the envy described above and the desire to reduce the psychological discomfort caused by it.In the case of athletes, singers or actors, the level of envy is less because their success is associated with natural talent. This makes it easy to blame the lack of our own success on a destiny that has not endowed us with certain abilities. Such shifts of guilt from oneself to some extent suppress the psychological discomfort caused by envy. Hatred is concentrated in the “higher powers”, and not on the person who has achieved success. In the case of other “types” of people of success (for example, a multimillionaire), hatred is already accumulated on the person himself.To an even greater extent, such hatred falls on a person from our environment who has achieved success. He is closer to us (we see that he is like us and does not have advantages that we ourselves could not have), and therefore it is much more difficult to blame external factors for our psychological discomfort, it is easier to direct our anger at the most successful person.
The above diagram is a generalization and, like any generalization, does not accept extremes. Unfortunately, in reality, many people without success show their negative attitude towards the above-mentioned successful people, such as athletes or artists.Why? Because they show their negative attitude towards almost everyone who is better than them in any area.
What is the effect of this approach? Obsessing over our envy and the associated hatred of everything that transcends ourselves leads to the fact that we shield ourselves from good examples. We close ourselves in the midst of people similar to us – people with a similar “degree” of success (wealth, fame, motivation, etc.). It is enough to make a simple analysis, for example, of the wealth of our closest friends, to see that, as a rule, these are people who are in a position similar to our level.Or maybe the other way around. We are at their level. As you might guess, we subconsciously let in their beliefs, clone their approach to life and base our current position on them.
There is, however, a high risk that over time we will begin to retreat more and more and drown in beliefs that distance us from success. Denying anything that sticks out above the line of mediocrity leads to the fact that this line is constantly declining. The number of things and people that cause envy and hatred in us is also increasing.Over time, we begin to hate most of the world around us, and everyone who is at least somehow better than us becomes our enemy.
Step Six Challenge
In Step Six, we encourage you to work over the next seven days on how you relate to people who are successful.
You yourself know better what thoughts are swarming in your head when you read about people’s successes from the front pages of newspapers, and how you feel when someone from your environment becomes successful.When in such a situation your mind begins to attack with envy, think that a virus begins to grow in your head that attacks your brain cells. The sooner you kill this virus, replacing envy with admiration and thinking about what you can do to get closer to success, the fewer your brain cells will become infected.
If you have the opportunity, try to spend as much time as possible with people of success. Look at how they behave, how they think and how they relate to life.If you do not have this opportunity, then first start with films about people of success, or with biographical books. Think about how their approach to different aspects of life differs from yours.
In the seventh step of a series of 10 steps to change my life for the better, we come to the question of fear of new tasks. We will consider how important it is in our life to deal with anxiety, and whether it is worth engaging in activities that cause this fear. Let’s talk about what the people call getting out of the comfort zone.
What is a comfort zone?
It is enough to take almost any book on personal development to meet the concept of the comfort zone. This concept could be met on this site in the first article 10 steps – How to change your life? Throw yourself into deep water. We wrote about the comfort zone then in a metaphorical way, comparing it to the refuge in which we live.
We wrote then that our life in this refuge does not create problems for us, because all our activity is reduced to performing actions that are well known to us.The problem appears only when we undertake a certain activity, we agree with the exit from the shelter described above, because it requires us to take actions that we have not previously performed. Such actions can be conducting a specific thought process (for example, making a certain decision), performing some exercises (for example, jumping from a certain height), or changing a certain state of affairs (for example, being in a certain environment or in a certain situation).
Leaving such a shelter is associated with the emergence of fear of the unknown. This fear most often leads to stress and feelings of insecurity or shame. All this contributes to the fact that we cease to feel comfortable. Therefore, that bunker is called the comfort zone, that is, the zone in which we are free from the fear described above. Leaving our comfort zone leads to the fact that our sense of comfort is destroyed and then fear appears in our head.
If we wanted to be more precise, it should be noted that fear, in fact, precedes us breaking our comfort zone.The ability of foresight that we have leads to the fact that our consciousness – even before accepting an unknown activity – informs us about its possible danger to our comfort. This situation can be equated with the situation of a jumper before a parachute jump. Fear, which informs him of a potential threat to comfort, appears either immediately before the jump, or even earlier (for example, at the time of boarding the plane).
What is fear of leaving your comfort zone?
We have already written that anxiety is a manifestation of the activity of the defense of our brain.The brain, sensing a threat to our comfort zone, warns us by creating a feeling that can be broadly defined by the term anxiety.
But the question arises why it is not uncommon for fear to prevail over our decision-making process. Fear blocks us from certain actions, even if deep down we want to take such actions. If anxiety is only a certain type of sound signal, then it would seem that after this signal enters our consciousness, we should be able to freely choose to listen to it or not.If anxiety is deemed unnecessary, we must be able to work freely. But in reality this is not the case.
Fear of leaving your comfort zone can be compared to another signaling device that our body uses, namely pain. At least a visit to the dentist would be a good example here. Despite the fact that we have a consciousness of the need to perform a specific procedure, and we know that it is aimed at improving our health, and not worsening it, we still feel pain.Our beliefs about the fairness of pain does not change anything.
So it is with the previously described feeling of fear. Even if we understand that in the given circumstances it is not justified, we still feel it.
Since we do not feel competent in analyzing the actions of our nervous system, we will not engage in in-depth analysis of the differences and similarities between fear and pain in this plane. While such an analysis might lead us to interesting conclusions, suppose the comparison above was only to reinforce a certain analogy and show that fear is essentially a signaling device and, like pain, cannot be disabled.But there are ways to reduce it (just as there are ways to relieve pain), fear is an element of any activity associated with getting out of your comfort zone. We can reduce its degree, but we cannot completely remove it.
This understanding leads us to the conclusion that, since going outside the comfort zone is always combined with more or less anxiety, and it is basically impossible to part with such fear, it is worth focusing on how to act despite its presence.
But before we go this far, the first thing to think about is whether there is any point in underestimating that fear and accepting it to the detriment of our activity.In the continuation of the article, we will see what different beliefs about this issue arise in successful people and people without success.
Successful people act in spite of fear
Successful people believe that fear of new tasks is an element worth fighting. He is credited with the role of an extra brake that blocks the path to success. They see the benefits that come from accepting new tasks and actions outside their comfort zone, more than the inconvenience of such actions.It is known that these inconveniences, in fact, remain only in our head and represent a barrier that we ourselves create. Why is acting outside your comfort zone beneficial?
Our comfort zone is characterized by the fact that its boundaries are constantly changing. These changes can occur in two directions – they can expand or contract. Expanding boundaries causes an increase in the comfort zone, due to which the range of actions increases, the performance of which does not cause fear in us and is not associated with a feeling of mental discomfort.Narrowing boundaries causes certain activities to be excluded from our comfort zone and an increase in the scope of activities that are associated with a sense of discomfort.
Successful people know that whenever we accept a new challenge and we work outside our comfort zone, and constant work outside of it leads to the expansion of our zone, and as a result, we develop. Taking a particular activity for the first time (taking an activity outside of our comfort zone) is usually associated with the previously described feeling of fear.A sense of fear accompanies us, especially when we begin a certain action. When we have already taken such actions, the fear begins to gradually give way. After performing an action, our mind translates such actions into already known ones. The next time we have to perform such tasks, the mind will turn to its database and believe that the activity awaiting us is not new to us, and, therefore, there is no need to send a warning signal in the form of fear.As a result, the specified activity will be defined in our comfort zone.
The fear of public speaking is an excellent example. The fear of the first such event is usually quite great. If we overcome this fear, then the next time it will certainly be less. Why will it be smaller and not completely eliminated? Many elements of each event are the same and these identical elements will fall into our comfort zone, and if repeated, they will not cause a feeling of fear.The concern will be caused by other, new elements (for example, different audience, different content of the speech, different circumstances). For the first time, a student, giving a presentation to a new class, was afraid of both his audience and the teacher, as well as the topic of the presentation. The next time he has to give a presentation to the same people, but on a different topic, his fear will focus on the topic of the new presentation. If he has to give the same presentation in front of the entire school, then a factor of concern will be a new concert hall.
What matters to successful people is that there are significant benefits to taking activity outside of their comfort zone.
Don’t close yourself in your comfort zone. As we mentioned above, such a zone can decrease. This happens if for some time we do not enter the sphere of activity that is in our comfort zone. Activities that our minds have identified as known and safe for our comfort are worth updating. For if we do not do this, over time, such actions cease to be in our comfort zone, and then our mind – before taking a certain activity – begins to warn us, with a feeling of fear.The fear will be the more, the more time has passed since the last moment of taking this or that action.
Using the above example of fear of public speaking, you can see that the more time has passed since the last presentation, the more fear will accompany us on the next. If our student gives press conferences and presentations every week throughout the year, then more and more subjects will fall into his comfort zone, and his anxiety will be reduced to almost zero.If, however, there is no presentation in the next school year, the items that have fallen into his comfort zone will be flagged as obsolete and over time his mind will push them out of his comfort zone.
This explains why we often have problems performing actions that we have performed without problems in the past. The longer the break in the performance of a certain activity, the more of its elements “fall out” of our comfort zone and begin to be perceived with anxiety arising from the need to cross the border of our comfort zone.
Fear blocks unsuccessful people
People without success are easily blocked by fear of acting outside of your comfort zone. Leaving this zone is always associated with mental discomfort, so unsuccessful people prefer to stay in their shelter. They prefer to feel comfortable.
Over time, their comfort zones begin to shrink more and more. Attachment to mental comfort leads to the fact that activities that until recently did not present any special problems, over time, begins to turn into an insoluble problem.Fear begins to accompany more and more actions, and aversion to overcoming anxiety leads to a loss of vital activity. The circle has closed, and at some point, fear accompanies us in almost any kind of activity, from morning to evening. The only activity in the comfort zone is sleep, during which we are inactive (and therefore do not induce feelings of fear), or drugs that turn off consciousness and calm our fear.
The more we are anxious about the actions, the harder and harder it is to break and reverse the tendency to narrow the comfort zone.Lack of activity is easily translated into lack of success. The situation is aggravated by the fact that we see people around us who perform various activities, break down new barriers and develop. This state of affairs generates frustration and negative attitudes towards anyone who has the desire and strength to act.
People without success do not think long-term in terms of overcoming fear. They present their own convenience and psychological comfort more beneficial than the benefits that they can get as a result of the measures taken.
Unsuccessful people do not see the need for constant personal development and continuous expansion of their comfort zone, and they try to rationalize the lack of activity in this area in different ways. They find more and more excuses for inaction, alienating thoughts from themselves, which actually blocks their fear.
Seventh Step Challenge
This time we urge you to pay particular attention to how your mind reacts to news (eg new challenges) over the next seven days.Pay attention to the feelings that accompany you, do you feel fear (or associated feelings of shame, embarrassment, insecurity)? Try to get rid of this feeling (taking into account the rejection of activity as well). Is rejection more valuable to you than overcoming it (and accepting this activity)?
We also encourage you to take small steps to expand your comfort zone. To this end, we urge you to break your old habits and do at least four things “in a new way”.It can be absolute trifles, for example, a different choice of the way to work or school, a trip to an unknown restaurant, a conversation with a long-forgotten friend.
The eighth step in a series of 10 steps to change your life for the better is devoted to an approach to achieving goals. We will think what is the measure of our success, costs and time of work, or vice versa – costs and time of our work do not matter, but only the result matters.
Successful people focus on results
Successful people especially value efficiency.If you have something to spend your money on, then it should be something specific, making it possible to measure the result. A person of success will pay for clearing the entrance to the house from snow, for repairing a car, or for increasing his capital by a certain amount. But he thinks it unwise to pay for throwing snow within an hour if the road is still uncleaned as a result, to pay for digging in the car for half a day that will not fix the problem, or pay for operations with his money if he do not bring him a real increase in his capital.
For successful people, the measure of success is, first of all, whether the expected result has been achieved. If the achievement of a specific result was legal, and the path to it does not violate the fundamental principles of morality, the person of success, as a rule, is not interested in the cost and time of work. He proceeds from the assumption that it costs the same to make the same product or achieve the same result as for a person who put a lot of effort into it, and for a person who got it with ease.
Although sometimes we are judged through the prism of our hard work, in fact, everyone expects from us, first of all, concrete results of our work. Diligence can sometimes be used to judge the results that can be expected. However, if the results are unsatisfactory, few people will be interested in how much work we have put into achieving them.
Successful people understand this very well. In this regard, they not only evaluate the work of others through the prism of its results, but they themselves strive to be judged in the same way.This accomplishes two important things. First, they can prove themselves where their skills and capabilities allow them to count on better results. Being good at a given area, they get more than others, and this brings them great benefits as a result. Secondly, they can continue to evolve and constantly improve their level. After achieving a certain result, they can set themselves a task in the form of achieving an even better result, without looking back at those who still have problems getting something that is no longer a problem for them.
Successful people understand that evaluating based not on results, but on labor or time spent, often leads to regression. A person who has certain abilities to perform a given action can achieve the desired result much faster and easier than a person who does not have such abilities. But, if he functions in an environment where the norms for achieving certain results are too small for him (taking into account people less capable in this field), and the volume or time of work will act as a reward, then he will face a dilemma.Such a person will either perform better than others, receiving the same salary (the same benefits), or he will feel that it is not worth using his full potential and will reduce his level of efficiency. The first path is viewed by many as injustice, because they fall into the trap, working below their qualifications and capabilities. Successful people know that the way out of this situation is to strive to be judged on the basis of results, and not on the basis of investment.
Unsuccessful people focus on costs
Unsuccessful people pay excessive attention to their own psychological comfort, preferring to evaluate based on the invested effort and time spent on work. They are afraid of performance-based assessments because they are afraid to expose their skills for assessment. They choose stable (usually medium or small) benefits, while reducing the ability to measure the real results of their work.
Of course, a general escape from checking the results achieved, as a rule, is impossible, nevertheless, unsuccessful people do everything to maximize the role of the effort and time spent.The cost and time of work, even if they did not lead to the desired result, become an easy excuse for inefficiency. Examples can be cited from any area of life. For example, at school and university: Didn’t pass the exam? After all, I studied a lot. X and Y studied less and passed, so either I was unlucky, or in fact X and Y are fooling me and learning a lot more. Or at work: I serve clients for eight hours. My colleague serves twice as many people in the same time. Fool! It’s better for me – the fewer people I serve, the less effort I will spend, and I will receive the same salary.There are many examples.
People who are unsuccessful, choosing comfort without being judged through the prism of the results obtained, often block the opportunity for themselves to stand out, become more than mediocre and achieve advantages adequate to their abilities. Obviously, there are no people ideal in all areas. Everyone can find at least one area in which he is able to achieve certain results easier and faster than others. If in this area he is equal with those who do not have the same abilities, then he will quickly lose the chance to develop and transform the results into real benefits.
The problem of the eighth step
In the problem of the eighth step, we urge you to think in what area you are able to achieve (or have already achieved) better results than the people around you. Think that if you were judged on the basis of results in these areas, rather than on the basis of cost and working time, then you could get more benefits.
If you find such an area, try to find three actions that you could take so that they are evaluated based on the results of the work.Think about the benefits you could get if such actions were implemented.
Each of us has our own spiritual path. As we explore our spirituality, we find ourselves on a journey in which we discover ourselves. When we live in spiritual awareness, we find harmony with the God of our understanding, with ourselves and others.There is no single recipe for spirituality. Each of us finds our own way to live spiritually and this gives us the freedom to choose how to live, and it also imposes on us obligations.
We cannot pretend that spirituality is not the core in the NA program or the very essence of the NA life path. However, this statement has room for people of all beliefs, including those with no beliefs at all. Our right to our own spirituality, the spirituality of our understanding, in NA is unconditional.It also means that we must give the right to it to others. It’s not that hard, but it’s one of those moments in our recovery that we love to complicate so much. Any single, specific and rigid definition of the term “spiritual principles” will be too limited for us. Our traditions remind us that NA is not a place where one particular spiritual path is affirmed once and for all.
Finding a spirituality that works for us is quite possibly one of the most difficult challenges we face in recovery.And yet, we are so often afraid to talk about her. We worry that we will feel out of place or that others will be unpleasant to hear what we share, what we speak about. As we carry the message, we learn to clearly define the line between our own spiritual experience and the NA message. Finding a balance in which we are open to each other’s experience, without the impression that we affirm, approve, support any particular religion, inside of us can feel like a struggle.
Perhaps we are deeply associated with some religion or some spiritual path that uses a very specific language that connects us to certain spiritual concepts.At this moment, we ask ourselves the question, how can we express our position so that each of us understands it. We try to use some more general words out of respect for the different points of view that we may have in the community. Outside the community, perhaps we will use a different language: more specific and specific, related to our particular faith. It can be difficult to find a way to talk about our spirituality while keeping the door open to anyone with a spiritual path of their own.In doing so, we use a variety of words to describe our Higher Power. We try, as much as possible, to share our ever-deepening spiritual experience so that it becomes available to everyone in the meeting room.
More importantly, we find people we trust and respect, with whom we are comfortable sharing one-on-one. This kind of work doesn’t always happen in meetings. We share and conduct research with our sponsor in a step-by-step process or in the presence of friends we truly trust.We may not even have to leave NA to find our spirituality. But if our spiritual exploration is taking place outside of our meeting rooms, then it is critical for us to understand that NA is happy for us, happy for our return from any new journey. Every time we have a new understanding that we are ready to share, and new problems arise that we are ready to work with as a result of our spiritual growth, NA is pleased with us.
One of the most amazingly beautiful things about our program is that it works no matter how different our beliefs may be.NA needs to be a place where each of us is welcome. Even when we are absolutely convinced that all the people in the room are united by the same faith, we still need to make sure that the NA message is clear, clear. We do not limit our application of tradition to only those cases when we clearly see the problem that tradition seems to solve. It helps all of us that we make sure our message is clear. “The more I learn how to share my spirituality in NA, the more clearly I see the connection between my faith and NA,” explained one of us.As we find ways and means to share our new insights using our common language of recovery, our normal ability to carry the NA message becomes stronger, more versatile. Our community matures and develops as each of us brings our growing understanding and puts it on the table in front of everyone. We grow from each other’s experiences, we grow when we are filled with a willingness to share and listen to others with an open mind.
Even though this topic is so important, so central to our recovery, there is resistance in many of us when we hear talk about spirituality because it can be so closely intertwined with talk about religion.There are many reasons why we may feel uncomfortable with this. First of all, this is something that many of us have learned not to discuss. We know that faith is deeply personal. However, others simply have no options, no way to talk about it without trying to bring another person into faith in accordance with our own faith. We already need to change so much that it is important for us to understand that our system of beliefs and beliefs, whatever it may be, our program does not threaten this system with anything.It can question things, and this can happen when we begin to apply our spirituality more actively than we have done before.
We can hold various philosophical discussions throughout the day and not advance anywhere in our spiritual life. On the other hand, some of the most deeply spiritual people we know say very little about spirituality. Their quiet example is more powerful for us than any words. The principles that we share in steps, in traditions, in concepts and throughout the rest of our literature have been shaped over time.They have been shaped to give us a common language that each of us understands and can identify with.
We say over and over again that this is a spiritual, but not a religious program, but that does not mean that this program cannot work for religious people. Some of us come to NA with a foundation of faith with which they feel very comfortable. Others of us find our way to organized religion as a result of the work we do in building our relationship with a Higher Power step by step.Some of us find alternative spiritual paths or come to the fact that they have enough spirituality, which we achieve through the program. There are no right or wrong answers, there is no definite sequence that will naturally lead us to or away from organized religion.
What’s important? It is important that we accept for ourselves that in essence this program is spiritual, that part of what we depend on here is the greatest mystery, that some part of it has no meaning at all.Many of us say that even after we have been clean for years, we still don’t know how it works. The only thing we know is that it actually works. When we allow the possibility that there will always be something that we do not know, it means that we always leave space for something more powerful than ourselves, leave space for it to work with us, and to work. in us.
Some of us have retained and supported the religious beliefs we grew up with.But in our dependence, we let ourselves down so much, and did things that deeply contradicted these beliefs. Many of us have had to work hard to distance ourselves from our previous beliefs, the mention of which caused us allergies. Perhaps it will take a long time until we understand why we are uncomfortable with these words that we hear. When we hear people talking about a Higher Power, we can feel as if we are being pushed towards all these feelings again and it is quite natural that we start to get nervous.
Perhaps we had a negative experience related to religion or some experience that made our relationship with religion uncomfortable for us. It can be difficult for us to face the truth. Many of us have experienced some kind of religious effort to save us from our addiction and have come to the conclusion that faith alone is not enough to free us. Or, on the contrary, we could have formed a very well-organized system of religious faith and we could have a fear that NA will demand that we abandon this system.Whatever our experience, the most important thing for our recovery is to find the kind of understanding that works for us. As we dive into the process, trying to figure it out, other people’s opinions about how it should be may make us feel anxious, anxious, or even in danger. The most important thing is to give each other time and space to come to a belief system that will only be our own.
On the other hand, we can hastily cut off any conversation about the fact that one of us needs to do something in order to reconcile our recovery with our convictions.One member of our community confessed: “It was hard for me with the struggle that was going on inside me with my faith from the moment I came to NA. I still practice the religion I grew up in, and I have been very active in this religion since I became pure. But from the day I walked into the community rooms and began to speak out about my spiritual awakening, I felt that something was locked in me. I left the community for a while to go further along that spiritual path, but I realized that I needed to return here, so I found a way to reconcile this gap between religion and community. “Without this effort, we run the risk of turning people against ourselves or limiting our own understanding of the connection between our spiritual development and our experience of recovery.
Spiritual growth can sometimes be difficult, but this does not mean that spiritual growth is bad. This struggle is very often how to arrive at a spirituality that will work for us. Our beliefs are constantly growing as our spirit awakens. When we actually experience our own beliefs, they become more vital.We seem to breathe life into them. For some of us, this means choosing a style, a way of praying, that resonates within us. Some of us find other ways and means to establish conscious contact that suits our belief system. But the most important thing in spiritual growth is that it is growth, which means that it changes, and it will change, and it will continue to change us. One community member said, “When I had about ten years of clean time, I realized that I was dishonest in my relationship with God because I pretended not to be angry.I realized that if I am not honest in this relationship, then how can I expect that my other relationships have any chances? ” Every time we recognize the possibility of spiritual growth, we experience a reawakening of hope.
Eight steps of daily spiritual practice for faster spiritual growth
The 8-step path of spiritual practice is the path that is best suited in our time. Practice it to experience faster spiritual progress and achieve your higher spiritual goals.
Spiritual practice for faster spiritual growth
If you want to grow spiritually and make the most of every day, then this article is for you.
First, it must be said that having a deeper interest in spiritual growth than just a fleeting one is truly a blessing in the modern world. Because for most people in the modern world, material goals in life usually take precedence over any spiritual goals.Paradoxically, people are chasing happiness in the material world, although in fact only one who grows spiritually can experience real lasting happiness, even while fulfilling all his worldly duties.
However, achieving spiritual growth, especially rapid growth, is easier said than done.
There are many challenges that a seeker seeking spiritual growth may face that must first be understood in order to overcome them on his spiritual journey.In this article, we will share with you the exact practices that will lead you to faster spiritual growth.
Difficulties that we may face in our daily efforts in spiritual practice
There are many difficulties a seeker may face. Listed below are some of the main problems we have seen in seekers seeking spiritual growth.
- Wrong Leadership: First, we live in an information age, and there is an abundance of (abundant) advice about Spirituality.This overabundance of information usually leaves the seeker confused about what to do and who to follow. Alas, most often the source of guidance is not a real Saint or spiritual teacher (that is, a person with a spiritual level of 70% or more). Seekers who begin their spiritual journey are easily misled by pleasing words and godly behavior, which may have no real spiritual value. The bottom line is that if a person does not practice Spirituality according to universal principles, he may end up wasting many years without spiritual growth and without receiving any spiritual benefit.
- What’s my next step? : For growth to take place, you need to take the next step. Unfortunately, many seekers have continued to practice spiritual practice at the same level for decades, this may include visiting religious places of worship, pilgrimage, etc. There is an old adage that says, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” This applies to any area of life, including spirituality.The same level of practice gives the same level of results and no growth. Many seekers do not understand that in order to grow spiritually, one must strive for higher and higher levels of spiritual practice. They do not ask the crucial question, “What should be my next step in spiritual practice?” And so they never practice the next step. This leads to stagnation.
- Dangers of an independent approach to Spirituality: When we have a legal problem, we turn to a lawyer … a medical problem – we go to a doctor … a problem with a TV – to a TV repairman and so on.However, when it comes to finding directions for understanding the most complex and all-encompassing science, that is, the science of Spirituality, very often people feel that they do not need any help to navigate their path. Keep in mind that this science, if practiced correctly, can free you from the cycle of birth and death. People feel that by reading spiritual books, or by doing some kind of practice that they enjoy, they can develop and progress. Our experience shows that this rarely happens.Without a spiritual master who is a bona fide teacher, it is extremely difficult to achieve spiritual growth.
- Accelerator in my hand: Let’s suppose that the seeker, by some accident, was actually able to receive the correct guidance from a bona fide spiritual master and was able to understand what his next step in spiritual practice would be. The seeker’s growth will then continue to depend on his desire to put the guidance he has received into practice and on his ability to persevere on the spiritual path.Spirituality says that there are many who start doing spiritual practice, but very few are in it in the long term. Therefore, there are very few finalists. Finally, it should be remembered that Spirituality is a lifestyle that requires constant practice throughout your life.
The good news is that despite the many obstacles that a seeker may face in life, if he is sincere and truly desires spiritual growth, then God always comes to the aid of this seeker and guides him on the right path.This is contained in the words of Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavle:
“When we take one step towards God, He takes 10 steps towards us.” – Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavle
The path of 8 steps of spiritual practice
In response to all of the above challenges of the Paratpar Guru, Dr. Athavle created the Guru’s Grace Path ( Gurukrupayoga ). He did this with the blessing of His Guru – Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj (Saint of the highest order).Paratpar Guru is a Saint of the highest order, that is, one who is at the spiritual level of 90% or higher. The Path of Guru Grace consists of 8 spiritual aspects, which are the basis of this path. This path combines the best practices of all other paths of spiritual practice to give seekers an unprecedented opportunity to experience faster spiritual growth in our time.
These are the 8 aspects of the Path of Guru Grace ( Gurukrupayoga ):
- Removal of personality defects (ULD or Svabhavdosh-Nirmulan )
- Ego Removal ( Aham-Nirmulan )
- Chanting the Name of God ( US )
- Society of Absolute Truth ( Satsang )
- Serving the Absolute Truth ( Satseva )
- Awakening Spiritual Emotion ( Bhav )
- Donation ( Tyag )
- Spiritual Love ( Preity )
In parentheses we give the Sanskrit word for this aspect of spiritual practice.
We can begin to practice these aspects in any order. For faster spiritual growth, it is necessary to practice all aspects, because this gives the seeker the opportunity to experience balanced spiritual growth. These aspects also help the seeker to overcome all obstacles / problems that hinder spiritual growth. Which aspect the seeker should tackle first depends on his basic nature. If a person has many personality defects, then the Personality Defect Removal (PID) process is a good place to start.If one is very devoted to God, then chanting the Name of God is a good starting point. If one is more action oriented, he can choose satseva (service to the Absolute Truth) as his first step.
Personality Defect Removal Process
Difficulties faced by the seeker
Personality defects (or unwanted traits) include traits such as anger, greed, laziness, insecurity, emotionality, etc.- are the curse of our existence. Because they not only reduce our effectiveness, but they are also a constant source of stress and suffering in our lives and the lives of others. Everyone has personality defects in varying degrees of intensity – some have more, some have less. Such shortcomings make it impossible for seekers to experience the happiness (let alone Bliss) that spiritual practice can provide. In addition, when defects manifest themselves as a reaction to a situation, they destabilize us.
Negative energies from the subtle dimension easily penetrate a person who has many personality defects. They amplify a person’s reactions, thereby negatively affecting him and others. For example, if we have a personality defect of anger and we hurt with our other tongue, we are incurring sin. On a spiritual level, the energy generated by spiritual practice is used to eliminate sin. Consequently, they diminish a person’s ability to persevere on their spiritual path.Regardless of the spiritual path chosen, many character flaws hinder spiritual progress, making it almost impossible.
How the practice of removing personality defects helps:
What we do not know about ourselves, we cannot fix. The Personality Defect Removal (IDR) process helps to change this. First proposed by His Holiness Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavla, this process not only helps the seeker overcome the above difficulties, but also creates a solid foundation for spiritual growth.This process has three stages:
- Data Collection / Observation: The first thing this practice does is establish a clear methodology for understanding our weaknesses. Because very often most people, criticizing and condemning others, pay little attention to their own shortcomings. Using the methodology of the Removal of Personality Defects process, we collect data about our own mistakes and the circumstances that led to them. Collecting such data about himself, a person opens his eyes to those areas in which there are his shortcomings, and also makes it possible to assess his qualities and strengths of character.In short, this process reflects the true nature of man and shows us who we really are.
- Analysis: Every bug or flaw that is documented helps us see ourselves better. This helps us to analyze the real reason for the reactions in our minds that prompt us to make mistakes. We understand our mistakes and shortcomings. For example, we begin to understand what mistakes are often repeated, or what mistakes affect not only us, but also a large group of people.This analysis gives us a more realistic view of ourselves, giving us a clearer picture of who and what is pressing our buttons.
- Self-hypnosis: after we have analyzed the root defect of personality that causes the error, then the way to correct it is quite simple. It is a tried and tested method using what is called auto-suggestion (CB). These self-hypnosis are positive sentences that train the mind to respond correctly to situations.They need to be repeated several times a day. There are 7 techniques of self-hypnosis (SV). Unlike affirmations, they are tailored to the person and the situation of the error. Thus, in doing so, we can begin the process of changing and removing our imperfections and begin to live happier, more meaningful, and more blissful lives – just as they should be.
Remember: the LFA process reduces the intensity of defects. A mind with fewer defects allows a person to progress spiritually faster no matter which spiritual path he chooses.On the Path of the Guru’s grace, overcoming defects is paramount. By eliminating their personality defects, a person receives much more energy to focus on spiritual practice. It is for this reason that this type of spiritual practice is a turning point for those seekers who want to grow spiritually faster.
Refer to the section on the SFM process to understand this process in more detail.
Ego Removal Process
Difficulties faced by the seeker
The ego is the biggest stumbling block in the spiritual journey.In spiritual terms, it is what separates us from the experience of the Divine, or God within us. Having an ego is tantamount to living with a myopic mindset that our existence is limited to only 5 senses, mind and intellect. In practice, this means the presence of such thoughts as: my name, my body, my appearance, my education, my position, my family, my achievements, etc. – it seems that these thoughts of mine are all being and the end of all being … Man does not think beyond this limited outlook on life.We all, to one degree or another, identify ourselves mainly with this primitive concept of ourselves. On the other hand, spiritual growth means overcoming our lower self, which is our five senses, mind and intellect, and moving towards the experience of the Soul, or the Divine principle that resides in each of us.
Our ego prevents us from experiencing the Divine Principle within us. And although all personality defects arise from the ego, it is itself more subtle in nature.The ego manifests itself in many ways. Common and usually not obvious manifestations of the ego include: pride, feelings of superiority, feelings of inferiority, insecurity, the attitude of “I am a teacher”, I am right, I speak with authority, I speak loudly often, I have expectations, I seek praise, I feel I am a “doer”, I think about my appearance, self-interest, constantly talking about myself and my family, my desire should be a priority, etc.
This should give you an idea of the many facets of the human ego.
No matter which path a person follows, if he has a high ego, spiritual progress is impossible.
How this practice helps
In order to develop spiritually, our ego must decrease. There is no alternative. However, our ego is so deeply rooted within us that it is not easy to get rid of it even if we practice Spirituality. Therefore, instead of thinking that by doing spiritual practice the ego itself will be automatically eliminated, one should make a conscious effort to reduce the ego. Some of the efforts to reduce the ego that can be undertaken on a practical level are described below:
- Prayers: When we pray to God sincerely with humility, we express our helplessness.It helps to reduce the ego. Here are some examples of prayers we can recite to reduce the ego:
- God help me realize the aspects that increase my ego.
- God, put me in the company of such people and create events in my life that will help reduce my ego.
- God, please help me to accept any feedback or bugs others are reporting to me.
- Developing the quality of “thinking of others” helps to reduce the ego.When we think of others, we must put our effort into practice. For example, when we see that someone in our family is overworked, we can offer our help where needed, such as ironing their clothes.
- Performing physical duties such as washing dishes, cleaning the house, etc. helps to reduce ego faster. For more spiritual benefit, one can pray for this task to be completed as satseva (Service to God)
- Think about how big the universe is and how small man is in comparison to it.Or think about the infinity of time and how short our life is compared to this flow of time. Such thoughts help to reduce the ego.
- Preservation of spiritual emotion ( bhav ), or the point of view, that “everything happens according to the will of God”, or “thanks to God.” For example, in worldly life, we need to think with the spiritual emotion “God taught me” instead of “I am smart and graduated from Harvard University,” or instead of “I got married,” think “God arranged my marriage,” etc.
- Expression of gratitude: When we express gratitude, the role of “doer” (I did this) is offered to Guru or God, and this helps to reduce the ego. To learn more, read our article on Spiritually Gratefulness.
Please see our ego elimination section for more information.
Chanting the Name of God
Difficulties faced by the seeker
One of the most common problems a searcher encounters is lack of time.We often hear seekers say that they cannot find the time to practice their spiritual practice regularly. This is understandable, because in the modern world with its stresses and stressful everyday life, it is difficult to find time for spiritual practice. And let’s say the seeker was able to find time to do spiritual practice such as meditation; but even so, it cannot occur continuously throughout the day.
How chanting God’s name helps
The sages recommended chanting the Name of God in the current era, because it is the best spiritual practice, as it can be done silently in the mind throughout the day.It is a simple spiritual practice, easy to do, and does not depend on time or place. Since it can be done continuously, it helps to develop continuity in spiritual practice.
Moreover, spiritual energy is needed for spiritual growth. The name of God has tremendous positive Divine Energy. While repeating the Name of God, a person absorbs Divine Energy. The more concentrated or focused the repetition, the more benefit this spiritual practice will bring. When done with spiritual emotions, the benefits increase exponentially.
Another benefit of chanting is that it helps to erase negative impressions of personality defects in the subconscious. A person’s subconscious mind carries with it millions of experiences, and it can take many years or even lives to overcome unwanted traits through psychological means. This process is accelerated if a person sincerely chants the Name of God. This is because regular chanting creates a “center of devotion” in the subconscious of a person, which begins to dissolve other impressions in the subconscious.Thus, the rest of the negative impressions begin to automatically lose their strength, and their influence on the person decreases.
Spiritual energy received from chanting helps spiritual progress. SSRF recommends chanting the Name of God in accordance with the religion of your birth or IIOm Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya II (this chanting is most favorable for spiritual growth until 2023). Along with this, it is also recommended to chant Sri Gurudev Datta. It is a protective chant that helps protect oneself from spiritual suffering caused by the dissatisfied spirits of deceased ancestors (subtle bodies).
Read our article “Begin Your Spiritual Path” to learn more about which Name of God to chant. You can also visit our section on chanting to learn more about it.
Absolute Truth Society ( Satsang )
Difficulties with faced seeker
There will be many cases on the path of the seeker when he will need spiritual help.This may include the following situations:
- Answering questions about Spirituality
- Clarification of doubts about Spirituality or its spiritual practice.
- Getting support in times of lack of desire, loss of focus, negative thinking, not knowing how to overcome obstacles, etc.
- Getting help with spiritual healing
Without the help of other seekers-guides and aspirants, seekers may feel overwhelmed by the obstacles that may arise from time to time in their spiritual practice.This can lead to the fact that they even give up spiritual practice and give up their spiritual goals.
How it helps Satsang
Word Satsang is a Sanskrit word where “Sat” means the Absolute Truth, that is, God, and “sang” means “to be in company.” Therefore it means to be in the company of the Absolute Truth. This is usually accomplished in the company of seekers and Saints, where the theoretical and practical aspects of Spirituality are discussed.From , atsang is an environment conducive to forming seekers and helping them in their spiritual practice.
The collective spiritual energy is present thanks to many seekers attending satsang , and gives a person an incentive to perseverance in his spiritual practice. Visiting places of worship, reading spiritual texts written by Saints, being in the company of seekers (under the guidance of a Saint), and visiting a true Saint or Guru are examples of satsang of the highest quality.
On a scale from 1 to 100, depending on the type of spiritual practice, the relative importance of chanting the Name of God is 5%, and the importance of staying at Satsang and the company of Saints is 30%. These numbers, derived from spiritual research (using an advanced sixth sense), highlight the importance of Satsang .
Below are some of the many benefits of being in Satsang :
- A person acquires the conviction and desire to continue his spiritual practice, while remaining in Satsang .Enthusiasm for spiritual practice increases.
- Divine consciousness ( Chaitanya ), present in Satsang , also helps to give spiritual energy to the seeker for his spiritual practice.
- A sense of closeness develops between seekers attending satsang and it is easier for them to develop more love for others.
- We can learn from spiritual practice efforts from other seekers attending satsang .
- Attending satsang , a person may experience a higher level of spiritual experience than he might be accustomed to.This helps build faith in Spirituality.
At the present time it is very difficult to do spiritual practice on your own. We need the support of other seekers and spiritually advanced people to help us move further on our spiritual path. This is why SSRF regularly hosts weekly online satsangs , which are free of charge and attaches great importance to them. Click here to visit Satsang .
You can also visit our section on Satsang to learn more about this aspect of spiritual practice.
Serving the Absolute Truth ( Ca tc eva )
Difficulties faced by the seeker
When seekers discover Spirituality in their lives, they are motivated to do something in their spare time to serve Spirituality. Sometimes, due to lack of leadership, they end up engaging in social service or charity work, which may not be the equivalent of serving to spread Spirituality.Activities such as social services or charity work also run the risk of increasing the person’s ego. This is due to the fact that social workers invariably have such thoughts as: “look how much I have done”, “I am doing such a good job for society”, “I am such a good person”, etc. spiritually equates to the ego “I am the doer.” Dealing with social problems like poverty, poor health care, etc. can heighten their emotionality, which in turn increases their egos.If you do not do this from the correct point of view, then a person runs the risk of creating new mutual accounts (90,019 karmic 90,020 accounts) with the people he helps. To find out more, please read our article on Is Social Service Considered Spiritual Practice.
How it helps Satseva
Satseva means “Service to the Absolute Truth”, which means serving the mission of God by spreading Spirituality (which must adhere to universal spiritual principles).Starting to do Satseva is considered a big leap forward in our spiritual practice as it gives us many opportunities for spiritual growth. Regarding the importance of this type of spiritual practice, as mentioned above, the relative importance of chanting the Name of God on a scale of 1 to 100 is 5%, and the importance of being in Satsang and the company of Saints is 30%. Compared with these two other practices, the importance of Satseva is 100%.
When we participate in the Divine mission of spreading Spirituality, then God is pleased with us.This is because He thinks that we are not selfish and think not only about our personal spiritual growth, but more about how others can develop spiritually. This helps us to absorb the Divine quality of expansiveness (expansion). This is similar to how God takes care of the spiritual progress of all beings. Thus, absorbing this quality of God, satseva leads to faster spiritual growth.
Service to God or Satseva unites all other stages of spiritual practice .
By spiritual introversion we mean the ability to look inward, to be aware of our defects and the ability to understand whether our actions and thoughts bring us closer to God.
- By doing Satseva , we keep track of our mistakes and other seekers also give us feedback that helps us to become spiritually introverted ( antarmukh ), thus the ULD process takes place.
- Later seekers begin to perform satseva with a feeling of gratitude, because they experience the realization of how much God is doing for them in their life.So satseva evokes spiritual emotion.
- It is important to note that satseva is a concept known as samashti sadhana that helps a society to grow spiritually. In the current age, the relative importance of samashti sadhana is 70%, and vyashti sadhana which is an individual spiritual practice is 30%.
- When a person devotes his time and efforts to God’s mission, there is a donation of time, body, mind, and intellect.
- In addition, when we do satseva with others, it gives us the opportunity to learn from them, and practice the quality of “thinking of others”, so we gradually develop Divine love ( Priti) .
Through the grace and guidance of Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavla, SSRF has developed a platform for seekers to do Satseva according to their time, interests and capabilities. Many seekers have joined this platform from different parts of the world to offer their time and skills for different types of Satseva Spirituality spread.Some types of Satseva include translating books or articles, helping to organize and deliver lectures and spiritual seminars, Satseva related to running SSRF groups on social networks, writing articles and blogs, contributing to the maintenance and development of the SSRF website and much more. We appeal to our readers who are interested in starting Satsevu , contact us through our website in LiveChat.
To learn more about satsev , please visit our section about it.
Awakening of spiritual emotion ( bhav )
Difficulties faced by the seeker
Imagine that you are engaged in an activity or profession without passion for it. All activities will feel dry and you will lack enthusiasm. The same is true for spiritual practice. Very often, when seekers begin spiritual practice, they follow the process of spiritual practice, but they may not get the sense of the Divine.This is because they do not know how to awaken spiritual emotion. However, when they do experience 90,019 bhav 90,020, it brings Divine sweetness to their lives and spiritual
How bhav helps and how to awaken it
There is a saying: “Where there is spiritual emotion ( bhav ), there is God.”
This statement indicates the tremendous importance of efforts to awaken spiritual emotion. So what is bhav ? Words fail to explain this excellent spiritual feeling. Bhav is a sense of oneness with God. But what does it look like?
Usually we are all well aware of our existence. However, when we make an effort to awaken spiritual emotions, we have a chance to experience the presence of God. It is a wonderful feeling when we feel that we are in communion with the Divine. In this state, there are no needs or desires, only feelings of Bliss, love, gratitude and a sense of union with God. This is often accompanied by some physical manifestation such as tears, tremors, etc.It gives meaning to everything we do in spiritual practice and brings the essence of the Divine into our lives. We feel that God or Guru is walking next to us. At this point, the stress disappears. The stronger the spiritual emotion, the stronger the feeling of closeness to God.
Sometimes our spiritual emotion awakens spontaneously when we feel grateful to God, or remember how much God has done for us. However, it is important to constantly make efforts at the level of mind and intellect to increase our spiritual emotion and make it permanent in our life.
Here are some simple steps to increase your spiritual emotion:
- We can carry out all our daily activities with the feeling that through it we are serving God. For example, when we are cleaning a house, we may have such an attitude and spiritual emotion that we are cleaning God’s house. When we prepare food, we may feel the spiritual emotion that we are preparing food for God. We may feel like we are serving God by fulfilling responsibilities at work, etc.
- We can remember with a feeling of gratitude all the difficult times where we could feel the help of God and where the situation was resolved thanks to His grace.We can also remember all the spiritual experiences He gave us on our spiritual path to strengthen our faith. Feeling grateful is an important ingredient in awakening spiritual emotion.
One important point to remember: we may not be able to permanently remain in the state of bhava . However, remember that this is the goal we are trying to achieve. It is possible to be in the state of bhava constantly on an advanced spiritual level. Therefore, do not be discouraged if initially you cannot experience bhav .It is much more important to continually make efforts to awaken the bhav . When we make a serious effort, then God gives us the experience of bhava and His Divine presence. For more information on the efforts you can make to experience bhav , please refer to our section on spiritual emotion.
Donation ( Tyag )
Difficulties faced by the seeker
Many seekers do not know how to move forward in their spiritual practice.One of the main factors in this is that they are used to their comfort zone with their daily routine. They don’t want to go beyond that. Therefore, they do not take the next step in their spiritual practice.
In addition, people have different attachments – physical or emotional. They have the misconception that what they are attached to will bring them lasting, lasting happiness. But nothing could be further from the truth. As you know, we live in a world that is constantly changing, and the very things to which we are attached can bring us tremendous sadness when they change.Giving up attachments and stepping outside your comfort zone is easier said than done.
So how do you solve this problem?
How donating helps and how to do it:
Spiritual donation practice involves a concerted effort to sacrifice one’s body, mind, and wealth to serve God or to aid in His mission of spreading Spirituality.
However, when “sacrifice”, “abstinence” or “giving up” is mentioned, some of us may have the misconception that this may mean that we will eventually have to give up our worldly life.And someone may think: “What if I give and do not get anything in return?” This can make us fearful and hesitant to accept this form of spiritual practice.
It is important to understand the meaning of this practice. This should be done out of love, then in this case the person never has the feeling that he is making a sacrifice. A worldly example that can help us understand such sacrifice is the sacrifice that parents make for their children. They can go through many hardships and sacrifices to ensure that their children are given the best possible opportunity.They never feel it because it is done with love. Donation as a spiritual practice is similar. The only difference is that here we give a little of what we received from the Creator Himself in order to serve Him. But it takes effort, and a person may still feel indecisive to step outside their comfort zone and sacrifice their mind, body, or wealth.
So, you can start with a small donation. Let’s say you have a habit of aimlessly scrolling through a social media feed like Facebook and checking the number of likes your posts receive in an hour.Then a small donation of the mind might be to spend this time in the spiritual practice of chanting the Name of God with concentration. You will notice that every time you choose to draw close to God or serve Him, you benefit – it can be physically or mentally, and always spiritually.
When we offer ourselves to God – be it mind, body, or wealth – we create a space within ourselves to receive. When we make an effort to step outside of our comfort zone and take one step towards God, we will feel that He is doing so much more for us.It gives us the faith to sacrifice more and more of our worldly existence to Him in order to experience the Divine.
Some of the donation methods:
- Spend free time serving God
- Offer your talents and skills to serve His mission
- Donating money for the dissemination of spirituality
- Even if we have nothing, we still have a physical body. We can help clean up the room before the Spirituality workshop.
You can donate according to your possibilities. As the quantity and quality of our spiritual practice increases, our desire to sacrifice increases automatically. Ultimately, we must sacrifice everything and our attachments of body, mind and wealth. Only when we completely give up our worldly way of life and all attachments associated with it can we fully experience God.
Please see our donation section for more information.
Spiritual Love ( Priti )
Difficulties faced by the seeker
The harsh reality of today’s world is that most people are self-centered. Rarely are there people who sincerely think of others and put others above themselves, without any ulterior motives.
So, if we were to look at love in general and think about others, at one end of this spectrum there would be a focus on ourselves, and at the other end of this spectrum there would be unconditional love for others.Divine Love, which is spiritual love (or Priti) is the embodiment of unconditional love for others. Saints at a very high spiritual level manifest this form of selfless love for others and for all creation.
It is this unique quality of God that makes Him so sweetly attractive to all mankind and all subtle entities in the spiritual dimension.
If the seeker wants to merge with God, then wherever he is on this spectrum, he must make an effort to go over to the side of unconditional love for others.Just as oil and water cannot merge due to their different properties, a self-centered person cannot merge with God, whose quality is Priti . However, making efforts to manifest selfless love in the midst of a selfish and self-centered world is not easy. In today’s world, we are used to putting ourselves first. We may be afraid that others will take advantage of us because they may think we are gentle.
So how do you become an infinitely loving person in the modern world?
This is where the stage of cognition and practice of spiritual love begins ( Priti ).
How to practice Priti helps the seeker
If there is anything that transcends all boundaries, it is love.
You may have spiritual knowledge, but if you do not have love, people will not feel close to you.
Love should be manifested in all our actions, speech and behavior in relation to every living being and even inanimate objects, and it must come from within. We cannot pretend. God feels that the entire Universe belongs to Him, so we need to do something internal so that we are a part of the Universe, that is, so that the Universe is our home.Only then can we merge with God.
We cannot turn into people with spiritual love in one day.
Therefore, we need to start with small daily efforts, some examples of which are given below:
- Do something for others and try to do it the way others want
- Act according to the “desires of others” and not “your own desires” – this is an important effort in the practice of these steps
- Speak softly, calmly and lovingly
- Make efforts by SFM to reduce expectations from others
- Do not criticize or condemn others, and also be more understanding and tolerant of others
- Do selfless acts
- Maintain the spiritual emotion that doing something for others you are serving God, it helps us to see God in all
- Practice empathy for other people and their situations
- Appreciate others and be grateful to others
- Goodbye so that you can not only forgive, but also forget about what happened
- Help others understand the importance of Spirituality and help them practice it
This can be practiced at first with other seekers and loved ones.Step by step, we can expand the scope of this practice to include friends, work colleagues, acquaintances, strangers, animals, inanimate objects, and then even our enemies.
When we make such efforts a part of our daily life, we become kinder to others. We experience the bliss of selfless service to others without any expectation. This encourages us to keep doing this more and more. First, we must put more effort into thinking about others, and later, when the spiritual level reaches 70%, that is, when a person reaches Holiness, the true Priti will begin to develop.
Please visit our section on Spiritual Love ( Priti ) to find out more.
According to the Science of Spirituality, the primary purpose of life is spiritual growth. It is the noblest of all human goals and aspirations. Moving towards a higher goal in Spirituality gives us the gift of the experience of Bliss, the highest form of happiness that does not depend on anything. In this state, a person is in Bliss regardless of the situation.The influence of people on a higher spiritual level is such that it spreads with a positive impact on everything that surrounds them.
According to the UN, the average human life expectancy is approximately 72 years. This gives us a little over 50 adult years (or roughly 18,250 days) to reach our goal. Depending on how old you are, when you read this article as a seeker, you will realize that there is now a limited amount of time left to achieve this spiritual goal.Seriously though, if we do not reach the threshold spiritual level, the Law of Karma (fate) guarantees that we will be reborn on Earth to settle our karma . Rebirth on Earth in the current era Kaliyug usually entails more suffering than happiness in life.
If there is something that we can never get back, it is time, and if there is something that can fly by in the blink of an eye, it is time. One day we wake up and realize that we are approaching the last period of our life, and we wonder where the time has gone.So, for a seeker who wants to grow spiritually, it needs to be used every day, because it can take a lifetime to grow spiritually to higher spiritual levels. We pray that seekers will use this knowledge and accept the “Guru Grace Path ( Gurukrupayoga )”, consisting of eight steps of spiritual practice, and feel the benefits of rapid spiritual growth.
90,000 Alcoholics and Drug Addicts Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups are being held at the hospital.Many patients with alcohol or drug problems enjoy visiting these groups.
Here is some information from the history of the creation of the movement “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
One great philosopher said about the essence of human life this way: “To work, to love, to be necessary.” The latter requirement is perhaps nowhere more pronounced than in the AA phenomenon. It is to this condition that the Community owes its success in overcoming the most insidious and deadly disease known to man.
AA was born in the spring of 1935. Bill W., a New York stockbroker, had not been drinking for five months by this time. He was at a hotel in Akron, Ohio, where he was on business. Subsequently, Bill described the incident that determined his future fate and played an important role in the lives of millions of people. “I went down to the lobby and walked to the door of the bar. “Perhaps we can come in and have a drink,” I thought to myself. “This is it, that very“ rational ”thinking, – I remembered. – All my efforts will remain in vain if I do not help others, as they helped me.If I want to save myself, I must immediately find another alcoholic in this city. ”
We bring to your attention the program of the movement “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
“We admitted our powerlessness over alcohol, admitted that we have lost control of ourselves.”
Who will agree to admit their complete defeat? Admitting your powerlessness is the first step to liberation.The connection between humility and sobriety. Psychic obsession plus physical allergies. Why does every member of A.A. should finally go down?
“We came to the conviction that only a Power more powerful than we can restore our sanity.”
What can we believe in? A.A. does not require you to be a believer; The Twelve Steps are just suggestions. The importance of non-bias. A variety of paths leading to faith. A.A.. as a substitute for a Higher Power. The fate of the disillusioned. Indifference and prejudice are obstacles in the way. Lost faith is found in A.A. Problems of intelligence and independence. Negative and positive thinking. Complacency. Disobedience is a characteristic feature of alcoholics’ behavior. The Second Step is the starting point on the road to sanity. Correct attitude towards God.
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God, as we understood Him.”
Step Three can be compared to opening a locked door. How to make God come into our lives? Our willingness is key. Submission as a means of gaining independence. Submitting your will to a Higher Power. Abuse of willpower. Continuous personal effort is required to submit to God’s will.
“We deeply and fearlessly evaluated ourselves and our life from a moral point of view.”
How instincts can go beyond their intended purpose.The Fourth Step is trying to discover our commitment to others. The main problem with instinctive urges is going to extremes. Taking the wrong approach to moral judgment can lead to feelings of guilt, pretentiousness, and blaming others. Along with the disadvantages, you should note your merits. Self-justification is dangerous. A willingness to make a moral assessment brings light and confidence to life. The Fourth Step is the beginning of a toiline behavior that will last a lifetime.Common symptoms of emotional imbalance are anxiety, anger, self-pity, and depression. Moral judgment applies to relationships with other people. The importance of conducting it carefully.
“We have recognized before God, ourselves and any other person the true nature of our delusions.”
Twelve Steps reduce the size of our “I” to the original. The Fifth Step is difficult, but necessary to achieve sobriety and peace of mind.The tradition of repentance goes back to antiquity. Without a strong admission of their shortcomings, few will be able to lead a sober life. What does the Fifth Step give us? The beginning of true unity with people and God. Lose the feeling of being disconnected from people; receive forgiveness and grant it to others yourself; learn humility, strengthen yourself in honesty and a realistic attitude towards yourself. The danger of logical reasoning. How do you choose someone you can trust? As a result, you gain balance and God-realization. Unity with God and people prepares us for the next Steps.
“Fully prepared ourselves for God to deliver us from all our shortcomings.”
The Sixth Step is necessary for spiritual development. This is the beginning of the work that needs to be done all your life. Recognizing the difference between pursuit of a goal and excellence. Why you need to try multiple times. Personal readiness is paramount. The need to take action. Delay is dangerous. Disobedience can be fatal.The point where we give up limited goals and move towards God’s will.
“We humbly asked Him to correct our flaws.”
What is humility? What does it mean to us? A wide road to true freedom of the human spirit. An essential tool for survival. The value of curbing your own “I”. Failures and sorrows transformed by humility. Strength that comes from weakness. Pain is the price of entering a new life.Self-centered fear as a major source of flaws. The Seventh Step is a new attitude towards life that allows us to move towards God.
“We made a list of all those people whom we have harmed, and were filled with the desire to make amends to them.”
This and the next two Steps are about personal relationships. Learning to live in peace with other people is an interesting challenge. Obstacles to this: unwillingness to forgive, refusal to admit guilt to others, deliberate forgetfulness.The need for a thorough analysis of the past. A deeper understanding of things as a result of this thoroughness. The different types of damage we cause to others. The need to avoid extreme judgments. Adopting an objective point of view. Eighth Step – Getting Out of Isolation.
“Personally compensate for the damage caused to these people, where possible, except for those cases when it could harm them or someone else.”
Peace of mind is the first prerequisite for sound judgment.Timing is important when making amends. What is courage? Prudence means weighing the odds. Compensation for damage begins when we enter A.A. Peace of mind cannot be bought at the expense of other people. The need for caution. A willingness to accept the consequences of our past and be responsible for the well-being of others is at the heart of Step Nine.
“Continued introspection and, when they made mistakes, immediately admitted it.”
Can we stay sober and keep our peace of mind under all circumstances? Introspection becomes a vital necessity. Acknowledging, accepting, and patiently correcting your shortcomings. “Emotional hangover.” Once you’ve settled accounts with the past, you can tackle the current difficulties. Varieties of moral judgment. Anger, discontent, jealousy, envy, self-pity, offended pride – all this caused the need for alcohol. The first goal is to curb yourself.Guarantees against self-aggrandizement. Let’s look at “income” and “expenses”. Study of the motives of actions.
“Sought through prayer and meditation to deepen our contact with God, as we understood Him , praying only for knowledge of His will, which we must fulfill, and for the gift of strength for this.”
Meditation and prayer are the main ways of establishing contact with the Higher Power. The connection between introspection, meditation and prayer.An unshakable foundation of life. How do you practice meditation? Meditation knows no limits. An individual adventure. The first result is peace of mind. What about prayer? Daily requests to understand God’s will and to give us the strength to do it. The effectiveness of prayer is beyond doubt. The reward received for prayer and meditation.
“Having reached the spiritual awakening that these steps led, we tried to convey the meaning of our ideas to other alcoholics and to apply these principles in all our affairs.”
Joy of Life – Twelfth Step Theme. Action is his key word. Giving without asking for anything in return. Love free from price considerations. What is spiritual awakening? A new state of consciousness and a renewed being are accepted as a gift. The willingness to accept gifts is part of the Twelfth Step behavior. Great reality. A reward for helping other alcoholics. Types of work under the Twelfth Step program. Can these principles be followed in all matters? Monotony, pain, and unhappiness are turned into good by following the instructions of the Steps.Difficulties in implementation. “Two-steps-and-no-more.” Go to all twelve Steps and demonstrate faith. Spiritual growth is the answer to emerging problems. Spiritual growth is above all. Submission and over-dependence on other people. The transition to a new life basis is to give to others and borrow from others. Dependence on God is essential to cure alcoholism. “Following these principles in all our affairs”: internal relationships in A.A. The attitude towards material goods is changing. Ideas about the importance of one’s person are also changing.The role of instincts in fulfilling their true destiny has been restored. Understanding is the key to taking the right view of life, and doing the right thing is the key to a happy life.
90,000 Steps in the process of spiritual development
7 stages of spiritual development
7 steps of spiritual development
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Psychological differentiation, or complication, of drawing in the process of development
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24.CHOICE OF THE SPIRITUAL WAY
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56. Classification of tasks facing a person in the process of development
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