God, Christianity, and Spritual Development
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"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience. Atheism is no experience only measurement.”
― Deepak Chopra
What is Spiritual Growth? Spiritual growth is a form of personal development, and it is what happens when you choose to deepen your relationship with God. It is making God a part of your everyday activities and day to day life. Spiritual growth refers to the process of developing a deeper bond with God or a higher power, and it is a development of a higher awareness or higher self consciousness.
Spirituality and religion are different. There is a difference between religion and a higher power, however they are both connection to your spirituality. Religion directly refers to organized religion and a direct connection with a specific idea of God, and pirituality is a connection to something bigger than you. I have searched for the perfect definition of the difference between religion and spirituality. This is the best definition distinction I have found: Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics. Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.”
The Christian Perspective
If you believe in God, spiritual growth means bringing god or Jesus into your life on a daily basis. It means being open to being guided by the power of God. In terms of AA, it means accepting God in your life and turning your life in terms accepting power and blessings of God. It means relying on God and his control over your own. For many in AA, this is a blessing and a challenge. Believing that God can help you make choices and that he has a better plan than you do can be relieving to some and anxiety provoking to others. Knowing that things can change, but not necessarily on your time, can provoke anxiety. Human nature is that we all want control of our lives, so to let go or “let go and let god” can be challenging. However, personal growth in spirituality can mean allowing yourself the freedom and wisdom to let god help you to be healthier and to guide or control your thinking and judgment.
To further clarify: In AA, you believe that God can bring you sanity and clarity. You believe that your own judgment and thinking are impaired. When you turn your life over to God, you trust unconditionally in the power of God.
If you do not believe in God, but have an understanding for spirituality, you understand that you are a part of a bigger system. You might have an understanding that you are a small part of a bigger system or that you have an understanding that you are not alone. Some people rely on concepts of the universe or nature to help drive their sense of spirituality. Having spirituality means that you still have a connection, but you do not have a defined God. It means you know that maybe your thoughts or judgment is impaired and that there has to be something, somewhere, that can guide you in a better direction.
To further define religion and spirituality:
· Spirituality is something that is found deep inside the person. It is a loving acceptance of self, and world. There is not one religion, but hundreds
· Religion is loving and accepting of self but through the power of God and his love for your.
· Religion can have a sense of sin and shame
· Spirituality can be a way of lifting self from the past
· Religion is a direct connection between God
· Spirituality can include or not include a sense of God, but an understanding ot something greater than you.
Personal growth looks at life areas that need to be changed or enhances. Spirituality is one of the life areas that can be improved or strengthened. Personal growth takes time and effort, but the outcome can change your life and ability to feel overall life happiness and satisfaction. Having a connection to god or a connection to a higher power can help you to improve your life. If you are in recovery, it can help you with your sobriety and recover. If you are seeking personal growth as a way to enhance your life, spiritual growth can help you to achieve success in multiple life areas.
- Kim B.