The most important indicator in our study of spiritual maturity was POWER
. Those who’ve experienced the power of God in life scored significantly higher across the board than those who haven’t.
God’s power, of course, can’t be manipulated. It moves when it moves. Fortunately, there was also a strong correlation between being aware of the PRESENCE
of God and having experienced divine POWER.
Through the millennia, there have been many long-tested ways of cultivating a sense of God’s PRESENCE
. Modern seekers can easily adopt techniques such as Centering Prayer
, for instance, or the "Jesus Prayer"
In terms of PRAYER
, many operate with a limited definition of what it is. If PRAYER
is merely “talking to God,”
we may not consider ourselves to have a solid prayer life. But if prayer includes such activities as Worship, Bible and devotional reading, listening to godly music, or conscious service, we might find our prayer lives are richer than we realized. The Christian monastic tradition would surely agree that such activities constitute prayer.
In fact, my favorite definition of PRAYER
is "any activity that makes us aware of the PRESENCE of God."
We also tend to discount our VOLUNTEERING
. For instance, anyone attending a Bible study or Worship service who doesn’t get paid for it is volunteering time and talent.
A low score in HAPPINESS
usually indicates personal or economic struggles. Pastors, ministers, and caring friends do well to pay attention to such, perhaps before even addressing more “spiritual” concerns.
The LACK OF PREJUDICE
indicator is best addressed through intentional, ongoing, inter-racial interactions.
needs to be seen as a process, a discipline, rather than something that is “one and done.”
is far deeper than simply wearing one’s faith label as a partisan identity. It requires reflecting from a specifically Biblical and gospel-driven perspective on the old question, “What would Jesus do?”
Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), for instance, or Matthew 25, then take those words into the voting booth and public life with you.
The entire point
is to grow in allowing God’s Word and purpose to deepen us in this life, as a blessing to this difficult world we share, and in expectation of the life to come.