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How to Help Someone Find His or Her Spirituality

One of the things Aiden Wilson Tozer, a modern day prophet, lamented was the condition of our churches: ‘the shallowness of their inner experience, the hollowness of their worship and their servile imitation of the world in their promotional methods.’

Sixty three years from the time Tozer wrote those words we are still in the same situation. It seems that nothing has improved with our church condition. Our churches are still filled with men and women whose inner experience is very shallow, whose worship is hollow, and whose promotional methods are a servile imitation of those of the world.

Low Level of Our Spirituality

Since Tozer’s time we have had countless church conferences, more evangelistic camps than ever, an Ecumenical Council, several local church councils, synods, encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books on church planting and discipleship too numerous to count, and yet the general level of our spirituality in the churches seems not to have gained in depth or in height.

The primary reason for this is that both church leaders and members in general have not yet found their spirituality. There is therefore an urgent need to lead more and more people, both church leaders and members, to find their spirituality.

Attempts to Raise the Level of Our Spirituality

Church leaders think that they have found their spirituality by their training in the seminaries, theological schools and updating seminars, by their involvement in renewal movements like annual retreats, monthly recollections, daily prayer exercises, etc. They do not realize these are not enough to have some kind of spirituality that really has an impact on their lives and those of others.

Church members may not even be aware that they have a need to find their spirituality. They think that accepting Christ as personal Lord and Savior and being filled with the Spirit are enough to empower them to witness to others.

That is why there is really a need to lead others, church leaders and members to find their spirituality. How do you start doing this?

A Way to Help Others Find Their Spirituality

First of all, the person who intends to help someone find his or her spirituality must himself or herself have a deeper experience of this spirituality. Water always seeks its own level. The spirituality of those you are helping never gets higher than yours as long as they are dependent on you. How can you help someone find her spirituality if you yourself have not found it?

If you yourself have had no in-depth experience of spirituality you cannot hope to help someone find her spirituality.

If you have already arrived in your spiritual life, if you have reached your destination in your spiritual journey, only then can you tell others about that destination and the way to it. Now you may help them find their spirituality because you have found yours.

The second thing to do after being certain yourself that you have found your spirituality is to make clear to others what the destination is in a life of spirituality.

You are like a tourist guide. When you guide a tour group, you tell the members of that group what the places are that they are going to pass through, including the culmination of their tour. You will not describe in detail what they will find in every place but you will give a brief and correct description of each place.

The same is true in the spiritual life. You tell those who follow you what this spiritual destination is, namely, union with God or others would prefer the term “self-realization.” Then you describe in general what this union with God or self-realization entails, that it is not a life in heaven, in the other world, after they die, but it is something accomplished while they are still physically on earth.

Again if you are a tour guide you will also brief your tourists on how you are going to your destinations, whether it is by bus, by train, by plane, by boat or by other means of transportation.

The same is true in the spiritual journey or a journey to find one’s spirituality. You tell your spiritual tourists the means of your spiritual journey, like reading the sources of your religion or faith, meditating on these sources in a solitary quiet place and obeying what the Spirit tells them to do.

Then you let them go and find their spirituality. Allow the Spirit to lead them where he wants to lead them. Do not interfere.

A very good way of doing this is by giving your spiritual tourists a copy of the book INTERIOR CASTLE by Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada. In this book she describes this spiritual journey, its destination and the means towards this destination. It is a spiritual masterpiece.

Imagine what would happen if our church leaders and members would devote their energies to finding their spirituality, to undergoing a journey in spirituality and enabling others to also undertake this journey. Do not think that this is not possible. I know of a Catholic parish where this is being done. I thought that its parish priest had mystics for his parishioners. No, they are not religious mystics confined in a monastery. They are ordinary human beings like you and me. And yet they are truly mystics, they are men and women in their spiritual journey to union with God.

If we have more of this parish where its parish priest leads his parishioners to find their spirituality, we would have more and more Christians who will act as levers lifting humanity and the rest of creation closer to their Creator. From our studies in physics we know that the longer the lever the easier it is to lift the weight on the other end of the bar. So also in spirituality, the more men and women we have who have found their spirituality and are spiritual, the longer our spiritual lever will be and the easier it will be for all of us to lift humanity and the rest of creation to our Creator.

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  1. Great tips, I've recently encouraged some of my family members to attend spiritual workshops. I'll have to point them to your blog.

    1. Thanks for pointing some of your family members to my blog. I notice that Ken Blanchard is in one of your videos in your website Humanistic Spirituality. He is one of my favorite authors. Thanks for putting him there.

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