Monday, June 2, 2008

Spiritual Life

Many people claim to have a strong faith, but have their own kind of spirituality. Such people don’t attend church regularly, if at all, and say they find God in other ways. In reality, they don’t have much of a spiritual life, which, as far as I’m concerned, should include regular worship, Bible study, daily prayer and devotions, and serving God by being active in some sort of ministry. If they aren’t doing those things, then I’m not quite sure how they’re “finding God.”

I’m not being judgmental with respect to such people, but I believe much of their faith may be more intellectual assent than it is conviction and commitment. While they may be convinced that God exists, God was behind the creation of the universe, and God loves them, there isn’t much evidence of strong belief. They aren’t nourishing their spirit, and so they are, I believe, spiritually stagnant.

I agree with Rick Warren and what he wrote in his book The Purpose Driven Life. I believe that to not only be spiritual but to grow in the faith (whatever your faith tradition), you should be active in the five God-given purposes of life:
· worship (communal worship on a regular basis);
· fellowship (spending time with fellow believers);
· discipleship (growing in the knowledge of God and maturing in the faith);
· ministry (serve in your place of worship or in some kind of ministry or charity);
· evangelism (tell others about God).

I pray that if you claim to be spiritual (and I’m sure you are) but don’t do much to nourish that spirituality, that you will become active in a place of worship in which you feel comfortable.

If you are Catholic, become more active in your church. Don’t just put in your 40 minutes once a week and that’s it.

If you’re Protestant and not regularly attending a church, check out the churches in your town and start becoming active in one that seems to work for you. Attend a Bible study, and become an active member of the church.

If you’ve fallen away from your Catholic religion, either consider going back, or, if you have been completely turned off for whatever reason, try a Protestant Church. You would be comfortable in an Episcopal, Lutheran, or Methodist church because most of them have a more traditional worship style with a liturgy.

If you are Jewish, attend schul more frequently and participate in the synagogue’s activities. You will be blessed.

If you don’t have a faith tradition, check out the churches that seem to have lots of activities. You’ll be surprised how comfortable you will feel in at least one of them, and then make it your church home.

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