Belief Beyond Boundaries
What does true spirituality look like and what does true happiness look like? In short, the answer to both questions is "balance." Surely, this has been said before, but what does "balance" truly look like?
Scripture describes many ways in which we can achieve balance and it is when we achieve balance, we begin to find a sense of purpose. It is in our purpose we begin to feel a sense of hope. Of course when we feel a sense of hope, happiness has no choice but to exude itself throughout our life and actions. We then begin to see the worth and potential in ourselves as well others.
I have found that balance must be spread over what I have termed "The 8 Degrees of Transformation. " I have managed to bring copious amounts of meaning and purpose into my life simply by spreading out my time over these areas. I am not seeking to be a master over them all, however, with attention and intention in each area, one can become better one step at a time in each discipline with practice.
Let's look at what the 8 Degrees are and what they mean:
In transformation, it is imperative that we seek that which is in ourselves. What motivates you? What drives you? What are your weaknesses and issues that must be dealt with? Through self reflection, counseling, research, and prayer while listening to the feedback of others, we can begin to repair all that is broken. Spirituality must start with each of us being willing to confront our "demons" and overcome them on an ongoing basis.
Separation of Self
Separation of Self refers to the discipline it takes to voluntarily remove yourself from worldly thoughts that threaten your happiness, health, spiritual life, and behavior. It is being willing to commit yourself to the actions that it takes to consistently become a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. When you find something is taking you away from your responsibilites to God, your family, and your self-improvement program, you must separate yourself from it. As Jesus says in Matthew 30, "If something causes you to sin, it is better to cut off your hand than to lose your whole body to Hell."
In forgiveness, therapy, and strengthening your body as well as your spirit, we must provide a solid foundation for holiness to dwell. It is more difficult for love to come from an angry person. A physically and mentally strong person, however, can use his strength to help many. Your body is your temple and it is important to take care of it.
As a creative, wonderful, and beautiful being, you were designed to express yourself creatively through your skills in some way. Through creating and developing the natural talents you were given, you will be better equipped to serve the Kingdom.
You were born with a plethora of talent, whether you realize it or not. Just as money can be tithed, your creativity, skill, and time can mean a huge difference. Churches, organizations, and groups all need talented people to do the things that money can't buy or that which would be too expensive for the organization to provide. As members of the Kingdom, it is essential that we give our time to help our community and others.
Righteous, non-boastful, conduct is something that can be a struggle for most people time and again. But working on showing love, kindness, and courtesy in all your actions, this shows others that you live an honorable, spirit-led life. It sends a message that your actions do not contradict the spiritual message you wish to send and undermine all the hard work you've done in your transformation and contributions to the Kingdom. This involves showing a kind, caring attitude at all times, even when your own life has its own struggles to contend with.
Through prayer and meditation, we are able to make our intentions clear and concise. Without taking the time for praise, thanksgiving, and making our requests known to our Creator, we are left only to the worldly messages that are bombarding us through advertisements, the news, and behaviors or attitudes of others.
This is the pinnacle and purpose of our interaction with the Divine Creator. Some see signs, many of us dreams, visions, coincidences, and even prophetic information communicated to us resulting in the right words spoken at just the right time. It is through vigilance and discernment that we interpret and understand what the Lord is telling us. Many times, this works as a form of dialogue between God and ourselves such as with our initial prayer, a response from God such as a dream, and then our follow up for help in discernment when we need more information to fully understand.
So how does one begin to balance all this out when there are so many priorities in life and so little time? It comes with practice and creating small, achievable goals. Make a goal to pray at least once each day, read a Bible chapter each day, create silent time for prayer and meditation, or dedicate your skills to God. It doesn't matter how little you do, but only that you get started right away. Write down your goal, establish a time within your routine you will be working on the goal and then establish a time to review it and the other goals you've set each week. That's it! Transformation may be hard, but getting started is easy. Stay faithful dear friends.