A Search for the Spirit Within
Do You Trust That Your Relationship with Christ
Allows You to be Yourself Amongst Others in this World?
As a Christian, is it okay to engage in self-examination?
Can you celebrate your individuality without feeling guilty?
Are you allowed to develop as an individual and also live in this society according to God’s will?
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he reminded them that they were each loaded with unique spiritual gifts and talents (I Cor. 12:7). He also taught that they were individual parts of the whole body of Christ (I Cor. 12:12).
In order for the body of Christ to function as it should, each individual part needs to operate at its optimal level. This includes the acknowledgement of strengths and weaknesses.
Could this line of reasoning have been
the basis of Jungian psychology?
Carl Jung was a psychiatrist who found the unconscious to be enchanting. He believed that through self-knowledge and exploration of the unconscious, a person could find balance, individual growth and maturity.
He suggested that religion and spirituality could only be fully experienced at the deeper, unconscious level of the individual – in spite of societal standards and expectations.
Was this not the plight of Christ? His aim was to teach His followers how to develop an intimate relationship with the heavenly father.
When we explore who we are in relation to God, we realize all that we are not without God.
Once there’s a balanced perspective of this interdependent relationship between man and God, we realize that it is only because of our uniqueness manifested in God’s will that we are able to thrive in the world as we know it.
Self-Improvement Idea #1:
Be open to the process of self-examination.
In essence, self-examination is a search for the Spirit within.
Throughout this process, you gain insight into how to be the best person that you were designed to be. By developing your relationship with Christ, you learn to embrace your dark nature, which in turn, helps you to be more tolerant of others’ less desirable characteristics.
This level of personal growth helps you to navigate life as an individual living in a world filled with millions of others without blindly adhering to society’s standards.
When you examine yourself and align with the nature of Spirit, you can contribute to the body of Christ and effectively engage with society as a whole.
In his book, On Becoming a Person, another Carl, Carl Rogers, proposed that it is not until we accept ourselves and are permitted to be ourselves by others that we can then connect to one another, forming a larger network.
Once we accept and celebrate our spiritual gifts, we can then use them for the benefit of others.
What Paul and both Carls made clear was that full acceptance was inclusive of our positive and negative qualities. None are exempt from destructive thoughts and actions. Paul wails “O wretched man that I am…” in the book of Romans. He holds himself accountable and acknowledges an inner struggle, with which I am sure we are all familiar.
But by the Grace of God…
We are but secluded islands, unable to unite and form larger land mass - until we connect to the One True Source.
God knew each of us before we were birthed into the world. What better point of reference exists?
When we connect with the One who created us as Mary did when she sat at Christ’s feet instead of getting caught up in the busyness of life like her sister Martha, we become anchored by Spirit and in touch with our true selves.
Instead of crying out to God as Paul did, we often ignore internal anguish and instead go along with the status quo. The term groupthink comes to mind. As long as we are part of the group, we follow its directives, even when it might not be the best choice for us individually, and even when it’s to the damnation of others.
What preserves our good nature and fosters growth is allowing the Holy Spirit to encapsulate our individual spirit. In this way, we take on the nature of the Holy Spirit and interact with others while nurturing our Spirit nature.
When we put our trust in the things of the Lord instead of allowing ourselves to be driven by our sinful nature, we will thrive in every area of our life as opposed to being led down a path of destruction (Psalms 1: 1-6).
Remember: Examining self is searching for Spirit within!
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