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Growing Spiritually—Balancing Spirituality and Materialism

Updated on October 12, 2012

Now, you may be saying, "growing spiritually is essential, but how do I prove which religion is correct one?" It’s heartbreaking and one ends up being totally confused if engaged in a discussion that involves people from different religions.

In such a discussion, everyone knows that he belongs to the correct religion and undermines other religions. By the way, are you sure your religion is correct one? Oops! I can't hear your answer.

Hey, don’t start that discussion here, we may end up disagreeing. I mean not knowing who is correct or wrong. Thanks for cooperating and let’s discuss this instead…

Seriously, growing spiritually in a time that is impacted by greed, power and influence is a herculean task. Contemporary things like electronic equipment, gadgets, tools, television, magazines and the internet have made us concentrate more on our physical wants and needs. As a result, our viewpoint of self value and self meaning are cloudy.

My question is: how can we bring about a balance between spirituality and materialism within all areas of our lives?

Spiritual Growth Means to Look Within

Looking within is more than remembering the things that happened a day, week or month ago. You must be able to look in detail at your viewpoints, feelings, beliefs and motivations. Occasionally looking at your life experiences, your decisions, your relationships, and your actions will give useful information about things such as future goals, bad things that need changing and good things that need to be kept.

In addition, it provides you the little clues about how you should act, react and behave when in the middle of any situation. Just like any learned skill, looking within also has to be learned. All that is needed is the courage and willingness to find the true feelings that are inside of you. Here are some introspective things to make use of:

1.) Be objective.

2.) Forgive yourself.

3.) Concentrate on the things that you need to improve.

Spiritual Growth is to Grow and Mature Your Possibilities

Religion and science are greatly different when it comes to the human spirit. Religion sees people as spiritual beings that live for a short time on earth. But on the other hand, science sees the spirit as just one part of a person.

Mastery of self is the repeated theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the flesh are accounted for, but put under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good behavior lays out the plan to guarantee the growth of the spiritual being.

In psychology, to realize one's full potential is called self actualize. Maslow identifies a couple of human necessities such as physiological, security, belonging, esteem, cogitative, aesthetic, self actualization, and self transcendence. James had previously put these needs into the three categories of material, emotional and spiritual.

When you satisfy the basic physiological and emotional needs, your spiritual or existential needs are next. Getting each need met moves toward the complete development of a person. Maybe the differing things between these two religions and psychology are the end of self development. Christianity and Islam think that self development is a way to serve God. But psychology sees self development as an end by itself.

Spiritual Growth Equates to Searching for Meaning

Religions that believe that God exists such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam say that the purpose of human life is to serve the Creator of all living things. A lot of psychology theories claim that we will eventually give meaning to our own lives. Whether we think that the meaning of life is predetermined or self directed, to grow spiritually is to account for the fact that we don't just exist.

We don't know the meaning of our lives when we are born; but we become knowledgeable and wiser from interacting with people and from our actions and reactions to the things that we encounter. As we find this meaning, there are certain things that we believe and values that we reject and affirm.

Our lives have a purpose. This purpose places all of our physical, emotional, and intellectual potential into use; keeps us during hard times; and provides us something to believe in, a goal to go after and someplace to go.

Spiritual Growth is to Acknowledge Interconnections

Religions talk about the concept of our links to all creation, both living and inanimate. This is why we call other people our brothers and sisters even if they’re not actually related to us. In addition, the deity centered religions such Christianity and Islam talk about the bond between humans and a higher being.

In contrast, science expounds on our relationship to other living creatures via the theory of evolution. This relationship is plainly viewed in the concept of ecology, the relationship between living and non-living things.

In psychology, connection is a trait of self transcendence, which is the greatest human necessity as per Maslow. Being able to recognize your connection to everything makes you become humble, respect people, animals, plants and natural things. It makes you appreciative of the things around you. It motivates you to get out of your comfort zone and reach out to others and become a keeper of everything around you.

To grow is a process. This means that spiritual growth is something that occurs on a daily basis. We have positive outcomes and sometimes negative ones. But the crucial thing is that we learn and use this knowledge to continue growing spiritually.


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    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 5 years ago from Kenya

      @mary615, we should always respect nature. Thanks for voting this hub and for sharing it.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      You have written a good thought provoking Hub here. I totally agree with your message. I have great respect for nature, the earth and everything in it. I do appreciate everything and everyone around me.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc. and will share.