Monday, July 24, 2017

Spiritual Growth

I recently began rereading M. Scott Peck’s classic 1978 book, “The Road Less Traveled.” Peck defined Spiritual Growth as moving from a microcosm view of the world toward a macrocosm view. A microcosm worldview would be one defined by our experiences with our family, our workplace, the news sources we watch, along with the accepted views of our “tribe,” the friends and family who have had similar experiences as we have.

Moving toward a more macrocosm view requires that we actively meet and befriend people who are different than us, people from different experiences, different ethnic groups, religions or education. It requires that we travel, read, and seek out a variety of sources of information and broaden our education. 

The ultimate goal of spiritual growth is to begin to see things from God’s perspective. He sees the world without the constraints of time, place, or national boundaries. He sees every person as important and of equal value.

When my wife and I were in our mid-twenties, we developed a mantra of “Expanding our Horizons.” We were getting in a rut and needed to see new things, develop new interests and make new friends. This quest led to a church, a new relationship with Christ, new friends, and a larger worldview. We became almost frantic to travel, meet new people, and understand the world. Decades later we are still expanding our horizons, going places and meeting people and trying to understand. 

Oddly, we know other Christians who seem to have an opposite idea of spiritual growth. Their idea of growth is to become more and more isolated, to have a more narrow source of information, and relate only with people with a similar microcosm worldview.

To draw near to God, we must begin to see things from His perspective, which is a very macrocosm view, the big picture, understanding many people’s experiences and understanding, and seeing people as unique and wonderful.