3 surefire ways to stay spiritually grounded

How can we keep from becoming too worldly and selfish?

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  • Typically, we turn to heaven when life gets messy. Divorce, illness, death, loss of a job and other trials can leave us feeling helpless and lost. Often, we seek God to assuage our pain and despair.But life tends to indulge us, as well. The sunny days of success and contentment find us coasting along, enjoying our families, friends, health, money and possessions. During the good times, some of us tend to put God on the back-burner. We fail to acknowledge that our families, friends, health, money and possessions are actually gifts from God. He blesses us because he wants us to experience happiness.A wise spiritual leader recently taught me three ways to stay spiritually firm. He warned against climbing the ladder, only to realize that it's leaning against the wrong wall. We can make sure we're headed in the right direction and on solid spiritual footing when we follow this counsel:1. James E. Talmage, religious leader and scientist, said, "Gratitude is the twin sister to humility."It is impossible to be thankful and proud. Giving thanks to God keeps us in check. We acknowledge what he does for us even as we enjoy our bounties. Our kids learn to recognize a higher power in their lives, as well.Gratitude feels good. It lends perspective and puts us in our places. Whether your life is rosy or rotten, give thanks to God and teach your children to thank him in prayer.2. It's not easy to make the Sabbath day unique. Stores and movie theaters beckon, sports teams invite us to play or watch, and jobs, chores and homework can't be ignored.It definitely takes some rearranging of priorities and self-discipline to recognize the Sabbath. Striving to push work and sports aside to attend church and enjoy a day of rest is, for some, a sacrifice. But pretty soon, it becomes a way of life. And by doing so, we teach our kids to obedience to this commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (KJV Exodus 20:3)Putting worldly pursuits aside one day a week enables us to keep the Sabbath day holy, and show God that he comes first.3. Religious leader and author Gordon B. Hinckley promised that as we look to God and serve his children, we'll come to a new level of happiness. He said, "I do not care how old you are, how young you are, whatever. You can lift people and help them. Heaven knows there are so very, very, very many people in this world who need help ... Let's get the cankering, selfish attitude out of our lives, my brothers and sisters, and stand a little taller and reach a little higher in the service of others."Service doesn't have to mean replacing someone's roof or donating a vital organ. There are so many ways to serve another person. Giving someone our time, a smile, a touch, an invitation or even an introduction are such simple ways to reach out and show that we care.My spiritual leader pointed out that what we get in life is inconsequential; what we become in life is what really matters. Remembering to be grateful, honor the Sabbath day and serve others will help ground and cement us in the truly important things of life.

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Megan Gladwell, a freelance writer and sometimes teacher, lives in beautiful Northern California with her husband and four children.

Website: http://www.bookclub41.blogspot.com

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