In Search of Spirituality
IN HIS famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) You probably agree with that statement. People everywhere recognize the need for spirituality in their life and assume that once found, it will bring them happiness. What, though, is the meaning of the term “spirituality”?
One dictionary defines spirituality as “sensitivity or attachment to religious values” and “the quality or state of being spiritual.” Thus, such terms as “spirituality,” “being spiritual,” or “being spiritually-minded” are viewed as synonymous. To clarify the term further, think of this comparison: An individual who is skillful in commercial affairs is said to be business-minded. Similarly, someone who keenly values spiritual or religious interests is called spiritually-minded.
How, then, is true spirituality achieved? Though just about every religion claims to know the path to spirituality, the directions given are about as numerous as the religions themselves. A Protestant claims to be saved at a revival meeting. A Catholic seeks communion with God at Mass. A Buddhist pursues enlightenment through meditation. A Hindu strives for release from the cycle of rebirths through self-denial. Are all of these on the path to true spirituality? Are any?
For many, the answer to those questions is no. They hold that spirituality means to “believe without belonging,” that is, to believe in a god or a deity without belonging to a church. Others feel that spirituality refers, not to a religious experience, but to a desire for inner peace and for meaning in life. They assert that those seeking spirituality need not look to religion at all. Rather, they need only to look inwardly, to their innermost feelings. One writer says: “True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way.”
Clearly, people differ greatly in their ideas about spirituality. Thousands of books claim to show the way to a spiritual life, yet all too often readers are left feeling unfulfilled and confused. There is one book, however, that does contain reliable guidance on spiritual matters. It is the book that shows evidence of being inspired of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) Let us see what that book, the Bible, says about the meaning of spirituality and the value of it.
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