What does it mean to be a spiritual person?

Spirituality, at its very heart, is an inner desire that moves us to seek good qualities of life that take us beyond physical qualities alone; things like meaning, purpose, love, peace, beauty, and happiness. Spirituality drives a search for connection with a power greater than our own, one that promises to satisfy our spiritual longings. Although traditional religion, especially the church, long considered a primary source for spiritual satisfaction, appears to be declining in Western society, spirituality never goes away. There is something in the human spirit that finds life lacking and prompts a search for answers to questions that need answering.

Following are some of the questions that concern people. Those questions are many and they vary from person to person. Who am I? Is there a God? What is life about? What will make me happy? What can calm my fears and anxieties? Where can I find love, acceptance and belonging? What will help me be a good person? How do I experience inner peace? How can I find self-confidence to accomplish my daily tasks or goals? What hope is there for the future?

Spirituality involves personal connections and experiences, often from supernatural sources, that meet personal needs and wishes for a better life.

Spirituality involves personal connections and experiences, often from supernatural sources, that meet personal needs and wishes for a better life. Those of a more scientific mind are apt to reject spiritual experiences, especially those of a supernatural nature, and appeal to reason as the guide to a good life; nevertheless, most people cannot rid themselves of recurring spiritual longings that demand fulfillment.

What is available to satisfy spiritual yearnings?

The world offers many kinds of ways to satisfy spiritual cravings and quests. It seems there is something for everyone. There are plenty of religions with a variety of differing gods to believe in, spiritual self-help books to read, and contact with so-called dark powers such as witchcraft, mediums, or sorcerers. There are mystic healers, revelations from fortune-tellers and horoscopes, and popular spiritual movements labeled New Age, Neo-Paganism, and Gnosticism. There is also a variety of spiritual practices to choose from that work for many; for example, yoga, meditation, connection with nature, connection with your inner divine self, and even drug use. Sadly, if sound spiritual options are not found, or fail to satisfy, there is the ultimate danger of hopelessness leading to anti-life behaviors like ill-advised drug use, lashing out to destroy others’ lives, even suicide.

What is Christian belief about spirituality?

Thus, true spirituality, one that guarantees us the best possible life in the best possible world, comes only from God our Creator.

Christians believe that although there is a degree of good and truth in many religions and beliefs, the fact is that we are made to connect with the one and only God who made us in his image (Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 44:6; John 1:1-3, 14). That God is Spirit (John 4:24), and he promises to put his Spirit within us to create a heart that desires, and enables us, to enjoy communication with him at a deeply intimate spiritual level (1 Corinthians 2:12-13; see also Ezekiel 36:25-27; John 7:37-39). Thus, true spirituality, one that guarantees us the best possible life in the best possible world, comes only from God our Creator.

The human problem is that separation from God exists because of deception, rebellion, and ignorance. This separation explains the need for many substitute gods that people hope will satisfy their spiritual longings (Acts 17:22-31). There is need, then, to connect with God and experience the kind of spirituality that helps us in our day-to-day life until God’s plan for the best possible world is completed. The way to become connected with God is the reason God came to earth as the man, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). Understanding what Jesus did on earth through his cross and bodily resurrection explains how to experience reconciliation to God through repentance, forgiveness, and a faith that receives God’s Spirit. This relationship with God is what forms true spirituality.

How can we define a spiritual Christian?

For Christians, a spiritual person is not necessarily one who does things like going to church, praying, giving time and money, reading the Bible, and meditating, thinking this is what it means to be spiritual. Neither is a spiritual person one who has been a Christian longer, knows more than others about the Bible, or who is involved in more religious activities than others. A spiritual person can be one who is just starting out as a believer and knows little or nothing compared with others. The mark of spirituality is simply having a heart that wants to seek God and to grow in all the ways God wants. It’s about our desire for an intimate relationship with the God of the universe, with God the Father and the Son (John 17:3; 1 John 1:3).

A spiritual person is one who lives with the ups-and-downs of each day; learning how to let God help with life’s issues.

Spirituality involves experiencing his presence, ongoing conversations with him, moments of listening to him, reflective thought about what he says, and a humble thankful heart for what he means to you and does for you. A spiritual person is one who lives with the ups-and-downs of each day; learning how to let God help with life’s issues. A spiritual person is one who is getting stronger, with God’s help, in being able to handle temptations, struggles, discouragements, raising kids, loving people, and so forth, in a way that honors God. Spirituality involves fellowship with other believers, gaining knowledge from the Bible about God and his ways, and gaining ground in consistently practicing his teachings. Spirituality is loving others as God as loved us (1 John 4:19). Spirituality means to be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14), to die with Christ, and to live by faith in Christ and his love, letting him live his life through you (Galatians 2:20).

 

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Jay Ashbaucher is a native of Northwest Ohio and is currently a retired pastor and published author. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and has been a pastor and teacher in Montana for over 44 years. Jay taught grief classes in a hospital setting, and worked for twenty years as a fifth-step counselor and lecturer in an alcoholic-drug treatment center getting to know the hearts of people struggling to get well. While pastoring in Montana, he had enjoyed racquetball, hunting, fishing, and traveling the Big Sky State. Now living in Southeast Michigan, Jay enjoys his family, reading, hiking, golf, time with friends, and time with his fun-to-be-with wife. They have two happily married children and seven grandchildren.