Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12-15 )
When we lived in a much more spiritually-aware time, there were more open messages from the Almighty regarding our character and opportunities for growth. The spiritual "leprosy" described in Leviticus chapter 14 is one of those messages. While the actual experience of this spiritual disease is not around today, the lessons we can learn are every bit as relevant.
For a physical problem, we turn to a doctor. For a spiritual problem, to whom do you turn? We need to find people in our lives to whom we can turn for spiritual dilemmas. It can be a sage or a holy person, or it can even be someone who is better at whatever area of growth you want to achieve. If you have a problem with anger, speak to people until you find someone who has conquered his anger.
A mentor can be someone you know well, or someone who has a book that inspired you and helps you to think, "What would so-and-so advise me to do in this situation?"
In biblical times, the kohen was the spiritual guide that people went to when they had this spiritual disease. Pure or impure? The kohen would decide. Then, the afflicted person would go to for practical advice, and to a prophet or holy person to ask what the message was from God - i.e. what spiritual growth is necessary or beneficial at this time to work on.
WHAT'S A MESSAGE?
When trying to read a message, we need to be sensitive to our spiritual ups and downs. What areas have we been finding a struggle lately? What kind of criticism have we been subject to, implied or explicit? Spiritual messages come at us from all angles - from friends, enemies, news reports, and yes, sometimes from physical maladies. When we don't take the time to do our own focus, introspection and spiritual work, God has to somehow get our attention, and it often seems like a debilitation or calamity is the only thing that will get us to stop and think, "Why is God doing this to me?"
If it's a message, then the problem is coming from God's love for us. He wants us to grow. He wants us to be great.
TAKE A GUESS
Since we don't have prophecy, we can't be absolutely sure what the message is for any particular problem. But you can introspect and come up with a reasonable possibility. You can talk it over with a mentor, counselor, friend or spiritual advisor. The goal is to come up with something to work on that is of a benefit to you, whether or not you hit the nail on the head.
For example, if your new car has a bunch of problems that seem to plague it, the message may be that you're too focused on physicality, or that you have put too much of your ego into the car, or that you overextended yourself financially with it just to impress others or make them jealous. If you work on any one of these areas of spiritual growth, it will do good things for you in this world and the next.
Look over the past few months and pick out the worst problem that you've had to deal with. Ask yourself if there is a possible message hidden in the problem. Talk it over with someone you trust, and then make a specific plan for growth. Write down five specific actions you are going to do that will help you be different.