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The Key to Spiritual Growth

6 prominent thinkers share their insights on how to nourish your soul

En español │Though we tend to lose certain things as we age — trim waistlines, hairlines, short-term memory — there is one area where getting older can be a boon: the acquiring of wisdom.  

Religions of all kinds teach us that we can improve spiritually as we age, gaining wisdom even as we climb in years. But how?  We asked a group of prominent figures from a range of spiritual traditions to weigh in on this important question.

A seedling growing in a person's hand.

Dr. Charles Stanley: Radio Host and Pastor of In Touch Ministries in Atlanta

Like farmers planting a crop, we need to understand what seeds to use in order to harvest what we desire. This is because we reap what we sow — a principle that is true no matter what season in life we're experiencing. So if we wish to stay spiritually fruitful as we grow older, we should look to the One who never ages or fails.

He teaches us everything that will help us continue maturing spiritually. The deeper we take root in our relationship with God — increasing our intimacy with Him and obeying His call — the greater access we have to His eternal nature and boundless resources.

Rabbi Stephen Blane

Rabbi Steve Blane: Founder and Spiritual Leader of Havurah Sim Shalom in New York

As we grow older, we tend to become set in our ways. Our opinions become our guiding lights and we often judge rather than observe. As we age, we should understand that it is far healthier to look for the light rather than the darkness. It can be so joyful to approach our mature lives with the understanding that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty.

We can learn that the greatest thing we can do as we age — is not to age! We should always continue to learn about ourselves, about those we love and the world around us. And we should simply be open to all the wonderful things the source of light brings into our lives. In this way, we are always awakened, we are always spiritual and we are always one with the source of all.

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