The spiritual life takes priority for so many of us because we yearn to fully realize our humanity and goodness. Having gained most of what we want in life—meaningful work, treasured friends, family, financial stability, and an overall sense of wellbeing, we yearn for “something more”. We long to deepen the meaning of our existence and its connection with others and God. Researchers like Danah Zohar define this “something more” as a spiritual quest to “find meaning and value in what we do and experience” so that our lives have transcendent worth. She’s right. Our lives must have transcendent worth. She believes we need to develop our spiritual intelligence or SQ. Likewise, Cindy Wigglesworth, who also specializes in spiritual intelligence, defines it as the ability to “behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation”. Who doesn’t want this kind of self-control and nobleness of heart. She believes by acquiring a set of skills over time with practice we can all become more wise…compassionate…more fully human and thereby resolve that hunger for something more….
"Is spiritual life truly about possessing the depth of spiritual intelligence necessary to realize our human potential to grow, heal, find wholeness, and transform ourselves and our world?"
Can there be a truth that transcends this noble and provocative ideal?
So, again, I ask you, is this really what the spiritual life consists of? A lot of people are preoccupied with that question. Prayerfully, I offer the following thoughts for your consideration. I hope God will speak to your heart and mind and bring about the peace you seek, and more importantly, the spiritual life you desire.
The idea of human development as the means to personal and global healing, restoration, and transformation is commonly confused with spiritual living and spiritual growth. It amazes me because this confusion is reinforced by some of the best and brightest minds. The human potential route is a tremendous effort to respond to human longing and misery. For this reason I admire the intentions here and thank God for those who strive to exercise wisdom and compassion for the common good.
However, it’s not enough. And here’s why.
The universal interest in the spiritual life stems from the innate desire we all have to live or to be spiritually alive. So, how can we adequately discuss the spiritual life without first dealing with what it means to be alive spiritually? Now, the tendency we all have is to naturally assume that we are alive spiritually. I certainly did!
Are you spiritually alive? How do you know and what is the source of your spiritual life?
In part 2 of this 3-post series on the spiritual life I give you an unvarnished explanation of what it is. And wrap it up in part 3 with the precious truth of how we become spiritually alive. So, I applaud you for sticking with me, and I promise you won’t regret it, if you read each part. Are you with me? Great!
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