What does the word spiritual mean to you? How does your family define spirituality as a result of your leadership or existence? What is spiritual discernment for your life and that of your family?
If you are not sure how to answer these questions I am not entirely surprised. While the dictionary definition of spiritual has not seen as severe a change, the cultural definition has seen a tremendous makeover. The definition of spiritual has always been consisting of spirit; not material; incorporeal; as a spiritual substance or being. The soul of man is spiritual (1828 American Dictionary of the English Language). It is no question the word spiritual has always contained somewhat of an out-of-body context in its definition. As a matter of fact, beginning with Christians and all other religious cultures spirituality is a sense of elevated enlightenment in the likeness of a supreme being. For Christians as I am, spirituality is a sacrificial act of service and worship before God whose merciful acceptance of our offering brings us the greatest joy (Romans 12:1).
Christians understand we have a conflict of two natures which rages within us; the flesh and the Spirit. In my opinion, that is the signature of the Creator on mankind. As such, every human regardless of our belief systems struggles for a greater elevation, or to fill a void by our natural longing for that spiritual enlightenment (Romans 7:14-25). Christians understand that void can only be filled by God and we pursue spirituality to His end desiring to live in the Spirit at all times (Romans 8). Or else, the nature of our flesh dominates, oppresses, and suppresses us into a limited life of selfish pursuits.
Therein lies the conflict we feel in seeking to define the word spiritual in our current cultural context. Do your research and ask those around you to define spirituality in their lives or their family. You will uncover definitions such as:
- Self-discovery; who we are or want to be
- Reaching beyond current limits
- Connection to the supernatural (self-evolution)