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Top Ten Spiritual Growth Ideas for December 2006

Guest Author: 

Spiritual Directors International member Bruce W. Tallman sends these suggestions:

  • In order to explain the way things are, nonbelievers ascribe God-like qualities to the universe. But scientists have determined that the universe is not infinite and eternal: it has a beginning (the Big Bang) and computer projections tell astrophysicists it will end.
  • God's very nature is to exist. You need a First Cause of things, an Uncaused Cause that exists in itself, or you can go back in infinite regression asking "What caused that?" Monotheistic religion believes God caused the Big Bang.
  • God's Creation is foundationally good. Evil is always only secondary, that is, a corruption of original goodness. Example: illness is a corruption of original health. Atheists have no good explanation of why, if there is no loving God, goodness is foundational. 


  • Evolution is God-directed, as is evidenced by the fact that it has moved in a spiritual direction from matter to life to thought to spirit (rocks and water to plants and animals to humans to the spread of the great religions across the Earth).
  • Religion and spirituality always spring up everywhere because what we all really want is absolute, infinite, eternal love. In other words, we are hardwired for love and God. If love is the central thing in life, how can atheists say there is no God of love?
  • God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving, but God is also self-limiting. In order to prevent chaos and humans being robots, God chooses not to interfere with the natural laws and human freedom which cause both goodness and suffering.
  • God motivates us all from within, in our hearts and consciences, to prevent and overcome suffering. Therefore life is full of the overcoming of suffering. However, we are free to resist God's will, sin, and cause more suffering.
  • God only allows suffering so that the highest human virtues can emerge: compassion, wisdom, courage, heroism, service to others, self-sacrifice, etc.
  • The Cross is the Great sign that God suffers with us and is right in the center of our pain, trying to alleviate it.
  • The Resurrection is the Great Sign that God overcomes all suffering in heaven forever.

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