spir-i-tu-al • adjective: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.
When our daughters took music lessons, I remember the teacher sitting next to them on the bench playing the harmony to the simple tunes in their music books. Each time the girls hit a wrong note, it would sound discordant simply because the master musician played the harmony. The teacher never had to point out their errors—they could hear them and self-correct.
Likewise, spiritual wholeness provides the harmony to the melody of our lives. At times we, and others, only hear the melody—a single note played out in a pattern or tune. And while the tune holds beauty, the harmony notes enhance its beauty and give it a richer and fuller sound. The harmony of God’s presence in our lives also helps us hear when we hit wrong notes.
S, the fourth and final letter in our self-nurturing acronym, stands for Spiritual Wholeness. Some may wonder why spiritual wholeness gets tacked on at the end, as if an afterthought. I would argue that I’ve saved the best for last. When Jesus walked on earth, people came to him for mental and physical healing. They even came to him for academic discussions—remember that his first interaction with the Pharisees took place before his ministry began.
Jesus saved most of the spiritual lessons for large crowds and small groups. He spent time building relationships with people and allowing them to see him as the Truth. Some hungered after spiritual wholeness as a result of physical, mental, or academic healing. Others hungered after spiritual wholeness as a result of a sermon or discussion. We all hear and learn differently—and our need for God will make itself evident at some point in each of our lives.We all hear and learn differently, therefore, no two spiritual journeys will look the same. Click To Tweet
Created to Worship
God created us to worship—but because we have free will, we can choose who or what we worship. If we choose to worship people or things, the music of our life will fall flat or feel repetitive. Although we seek harmony from myriad sources, we can only find it through a relationship with our Creator—the master musician.
My own journey to spiritual wholeness started the night my parents rushed my grandpa to the hospital when he had a heart attack. I had recently won an NIV Children’s Bible during a week of prayer series at my elementary school. In my fright and sorrow, I turned to the Psalms and started to read. I can’t remember what verse I read, only that it brought me peace (and I could understand it—unlike the King James Version that the pastor used).
In that moment, I realized that God wanted to comfort me and had provided a way to do so. My journey has not followed a linear path—it has twists and turns and detours galore. But that early experience helped me realize that only God deserved my worship. He has an entire composition prepared—awaiting my melody. The way I live my life—the choices I make, how I react to adverse situations—provides my melody of worship to my Creator.
You Can’t Find Spiritual Wholeness in a Church
You can’t find spiritual wholeness in a church or congregation. Sure, you may find answer that lead you to the Truth, but the church doesn’t provide spiritual wholeness. We can only find spiritual wholeness in a personal relationship with Christ.
Since my experience as an elementary student, I have discovered that my spiritual growth has never come from attending church. I find fellowship at church, and learn to share burdens with other parishioners, but I don’t find growth. Growth happens in my journal and the margins of my Bible. It takes place when I seek answers to my problems and comfort for my woes. Growth takes place on my knees and in tears of remorse.
And just like all of the other ways we should nurture ourselves, finding spiritual wholeness takes intentionality and work. More than anything else, each of us craves spiritual wholeness. If you feel this longing, these tips should help you get started on your journey.
1. Find a Bible you understand. Check out BibleGateway and look up John 3:16. Now, look at it in different translations (you’ll find many to choose from). Dig around with other chapters of the Bible in that translation and make sure you understand what you read. Even though I teach English, I prefer not to read God’s word in Shakespearean English.
2. Commit to reading the Bible for five minutes a day—make an appointment with yourself for the same time each day. Habit forming works best with repetition and timing.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you before you start reading.
4. Apply it! Read a verse or short section over several times and ask yourself how it applies to your life. If you don’t know where to start, try using the YouVersion Bible app (free) to receive a verse of the day.
5. Close with prayer.
Simple steps to get you started on your journey to spiritual wholeness.Five simple steps to get you started on your journey to spiritual wholeness. #self-care Click To Tweet
Nurture Yourself Takeaway #25—We all have a God-shaped hole in our heart. Learn how to connect with your Creator in order to add harmony and depth to your life.