Finding Balance Between the Material and Spiritual Aspect of Our Lives


To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a tremendous task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipment, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, movies, and the web have conditioned us to focus attention mostly on our physical needs and wants. As a result, our concept of self-worth and self-meaning are somewhat distorted. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward.

Self-examination goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Like any skill, self-examination can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to confront the truths that lie within you.  This can be a challenge for some of us.  Here are some pointers when you look within: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.

Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. However, the needs of the body are well-known but placed under the needs of the spirit. After you have satisfied the basic physical and emotional needs, spiritual needs tend to come next. In your day-to-day life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by efforts to satisfy those mental and material needs. Mastery of each of these needs is essential to the total development of the individual.  

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.

Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth, but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we either reject or accept.  Our lives have a purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting piece of wood at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.

There is a connectedness between all creation, human and non-human. This connection is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.

Thus, to grow in spirit is a day-to-day process. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.

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By Dr. Robert L Kight