1. Become a river rather than a swamp.
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“Rivers of life water will flow from the hearts of those who trust in me,” the Bible promises (John 7:38, margin).
* Because it rushes out, it is the mountain stream that carries fresh, life-giving water. The swamp, on the other hand, is sluggish and lifeless. A marsh absorbs and holds water that falls into its path. Don't be one of those people who tries to accumulate a lot before letting a little go.
We are to allow blessings to flow through us and on to others as Christians. We run the risk of becoming spiritually stagnant, emotionally disconnected, and intellectually cynical if we stockpile and block the benefits in our life. Make the decision to burst the dam and let blessings flow freely like a river. The flow of freshness is in full swing.
2. Recognize your blessings.
Too often, we go through life ignorant to the blessings that come our way. For one week, try this spiritual exercise: Identify a blessing you received from a family member at the end of the first day. A benediction from a neighbor at the end of the second day. From a friend on the third day. From a coworker on the fourth day. A stranger on the fifth day. From a youngster on the sixth day. On the seventh day, a “enemy” bestowed a blessing.
3. Speak blessing words like Moses did.
These words of blessing delivered by Moses are found in one of the Bible's most beautiful and compassionate passages:
Make use of your imagination when it comes to language, and use things that will uplift, encourage, hearten, and bless others. Your own spirit will grow stronger as you help them.
4. Encourage a communal prayer life.
By praying with others, you can increase the amount of time you spend praying. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including:
5. Take a risky step.
Taking a leap of faith from time to time is necessary for spiritual growth. Why not follow God's example and let the plan evolve instead of attempting to get everything in order before you start something important? This entails taking a leap of faith and trusting God to provide whatever resources are required for achievement.
6. Help someone regain their faith.
Make time today to mend a broken heart, show kindness to someone who really needs a friend, or assist in the reassembling of a shattered dream. Do everything you can today to spread God's unconditional love.
7. Practice gratitude.
Begin each day with a gratitude prayer to God for the gift of a new day. Even if the day ahead appears bleak, do this. Finish each day with an evening prayer of thanksgiving to God for the blessings of the previous hours. Even if you've had a really trying day, do this.
8. Tell others about your journey.
Make a connection with someone else who is looking to improve spiritually. Agree to meet for a period of time once a week to study and reflect on spiritual subjects. My friend, a busy executive in Toronto, Ontario, met with another man for six months to undertake Bible study. “We always met each week during our lunch hour at a downtown church that kindly provided us with a room for our meeting, no matter how hectic our schedules were.” “Those were fruitful months, with a lot of spiritual growth,” he recalls.
9. Put the food on the table.
Look for opportunities to help the community, particularly chores that have no monetary return, such as picking up trash on the streets. Read John 13:1-5 and think about what Jesus did.
10. Develop a sense of solitude.
“Solitude makes us harsher on ourselves and tenderer on others; it enhances our character in both ways,” wrote Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Take a break from the crowds and the din of daily life. Allow yourself a few minutes to be alone with God. In silence, we move our attention away from the troubles of life and toward the mind of God.
11. Pray and fast.
People in the Bible frequently combined prayer and fasting. “So we fasted and diligently prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our request,” Ezra 8:23 says. Consider combining your praying with some fasting the next time you're requested to pray urgently for someone in need.
12. Give your troubles to God.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you,” the Bible says plainly (Psalm 55:22). Do this whenever a worry arises.
13. Carry love with you everywhere you go.
“Spread love everywhere you go: First and foremost in your own house,” Mother Teresa of Calcutta counseled. Allow no one to come to you who does not leave better and happier. Be a living reflection of God's compassion, with kindness on your face, in your eyes, in your smile, and in your warm greeting.”
14. Make sure your priorities are in order.
Determine what is most important and what is not. Consider former President George W. Bush's words: “I have been blessed with a tight and lovely family, and I want to spend the remainder of my life letting them know how much I love and appreciate them.” “Being a tremendous success in the grandfather business is one of my most important accomplishments, which I am continuously working on. I'd wish to be known for my honesty, service, and love for my family.”
15. Strive to be the best you can be.
“Do properly whatever you do,” the Bible says (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Be the best version of yourself in whatever stage of life God put you in.
16. If you don't use it, you'll lose it.
God has blessed each of us with special abilities and gifts. If you don't utilize them, you might as well throw them away. Sir Edwin Arnold, a seventeenth-century poet, said, “Use your gifts faithfully, and they will be broadened; exercise what you know, and you will rise to better knowledge.”
17. Take time to reflect on the Bible.
Comforting, encouraging, and wise verses abound in the Bible. Make it a habit to read and study the Bible on a consistent and disciplined basis. Make a note of the verses that speak to you. Think about those words. Some of the sections should be memorized so that you can recollect them later.
18. You must be dependable.
Whether it's convenient or not, do what you say you'll do. Keep your word on all of your commitments, big and small. Demonstrate to them that you can be trusted and relied upon by your conduct.
19. Pray for God to bless you today.
Asking God to convert your life into a blessing is a terrific approach to grow in surprise and awe. Do this every morning before getting back to your normal routine. Offer a brief, simple prayer, such as this one: “Dear God, make my life a blessing to someone, someplace today.” Then pay special attention to everyone you meet throughout the day, for God will answer your prayer in unexpected ways.
20. Go for a walk in the woods.
The psalm authors did this, and they learned spiritual teachings from their time in the woods. “The heavens declare God's grandeur.” His magnificent artistry can be seen in the heavens” (Psalm 19:1). “What are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us?” “When I gaze up at the night sky and see the work of your fingersthe moon and the stars you have set in placewhat are mortals that you should think of us, simple humans that you should care for us?” Psalm 8:3,4 is a verse from the book of Psalms. “The mountains rose and the lowlands fell to the levels you set. Then you established a firm maritime barrier, ensuring that the waters would never again overrun the world” (Psalm 104:8, 9).
21. Make use of your freedom of choice.
You always have the option to choose, no matter what happens to you. You have the option of choosing joy over misery. You have the option of choosing love over hatred. You have the option of choosing forgiveness over vengeance. You have the option of choosing growth over stagnation. Keep in mind that a crisis can bring out the best or worst in us. It is up to us to make the decision!
How can I develop my spiritual life?
When trying to put all eight aspects of wellness together, the spiritual aspect of wellness can be the most individualized piece of the puzzle. People, on the whole, like to live lives that have meaning and purpose. When these objectives are attained, it brings peace into one's life and the lives of those around them.
So, what are some things you may do to increase your spiritual well-being? It's best to experiment with several ways to see what works best for you. Spiritual wellbeing can be reached in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually, because it involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose.
1. Examine your spiritual foundation. You are merely asking yourself questions about who you are and what you mean when you explore your spiritual essence. Consider the following question: “Who am I?” What is the point of my existence? What am I most passionate about? These questions will lead you down a path where you will think more deeply about yourself and recognize aspects of yourself that will assist you in achieving fulfillment.
2. Search for hidden meanings. Looking for deeper meanings and examining patterns in your life will help you realize that you have power over your future. Knowing this can help you live a happier and healthier life.
3. Get it off your chest. It will be easier to retain a concentrated mind if you express what is on your mind. You may feel befuddled and unable to make sense of your feelings after a long day or an important event. You may be able to think more clearly and move forward if you write down your thoughts.
4. Give yoga a shot. Yoga is a physical discipline that can help you achieve spiritual wellness by eliminating mental and physical stress. Yoga is taught at all levels and can help relieve anxiety, sadness, weariness, and sleeplessness as well as reducing stress, strengthen the immune system, and lower blood pressure.
5. Take a trip. Yes, it is correct! Taking time for yourself to travel to a familiar location or to a new location can do wonders for your mental health. You will have a greater connection with yourself when your mind is able to block out distractions and assist you in reflecting and resting. This allows you to eliminate stressors and retrain your mind to focus on total wellness. Exercising, visiting with a counselor or advisor, meditation, or taking a temporary vow of silence are all activities that can be done while on a trip.
6. Keep an optimistic attitude. You will find yourself thinking differently and shifting your mind to a happy, healthy place once you begin to view things in your life in a good light. You'll discover that you're more comfortable when you eliminate negativity and re-frame how you think about specific things and situations.
7. Set aside some time to meditate. While managing your time and everyday tasks can be difficult, it is critical to make time for yourself. Take five to ten minutes each day to meditate, whether it's first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bedtime. By incorporating meditation and relaxation into your daily routine, you will be able to clear your mind and strengthen your connection to your spiritual well-being.
Spirituality isn't like medicine in that you can't just “take one dose of prayer every day.” If you're inclined to organized religion, however, more active participation can help.
- Become a member of a religious organization. According to study, those who regularly attend a house of worship are happier and healthier. This is most likely due to the social relationship. It could also be because religious organizations promote healthy living choices such as quitting smoking and drinking less.
- Pray or meditate on your concept of God. You can use a prayer book to worship at a specified time each day. When you're in need of comfort, you can also pray from your heart. It may be very beneficial to your mood to say a prayer of appreciation.
- Discuss your spiritual beliefs with those who hold similar beliefs and learn from each other.
How do we grow in spiritual maturity?
Wife, author, boss, friend, daughter, teacher, professional coffee drinker, and now mama are just a few of the hats I wear. For over two years, I've been giggling at this parenthood thing. I've had twenty months of the most life-altering, heart-wrenching, joy-filled, bone-weary job I've ever had… and I've loved every minute of it.
During my pregnancy, I distinctly recall being terrified of the enormous responsibility that would soon be placed in my hands. I was terrified at the prospect of raising a child without completely ruining her. “I feel more capable of being air-dropped into Afghanistan and finding my way out in the middle of a Taliban fire war than I do of parenting a child,” I told a friend.
God does not wait for us to be ready to stretch us before he stretches us. Whether I was prepared or not, my full-fledged education into the realm of parenthood began in November of 2016. I've discovered that He equips us even while we're in the thick of a mess. Now that I'm well into motherhood, I've learned that it's not something you can learn from a book; it's a hands-on, learn-as-you-go, trial-and-error process.
I'll be honest, every three months when we take Sydney to her pediatrician for her visit, I expect her to hand me a lollypop and a sticker because…
I'm joking, but it's true. For all the restless nights and countless prayers imploring Jesus to take the wheel, the infant gets shots, and we get nothing.
The best part about going to the pediatrician every three months is understanding what developmental milestones Sydney should hit at each stage. My doctor even gives me a checklist of things to look for and how to deal with different situations.
The anticipation of a youngster is that he or she will grow. Over the course of a few months, newborns grow from defenseless 8-pound infants to 28-pound toddlers intent on destroying everything in their path. I can't help but think about spiritual maturity as I've watched my little girl grow from infancy to the great adventure of toddlerhood. Our Heavenly Father rejoices as we grow and mature in our faith, just as a good parent rejoices when their kid develops new talents.
Spiritual maturity is the expected, not the exception, for all Christians, according to the Bible.
We are “born again” into God's family and then begin to mature as God's children, just as a newborn is born and then begins to grow. Despite the fact that this is the expectation, many Christians become stuck and stagnate in their faith.
The Apostle Peter describes seven “spiritual milestones” that should increase in our life if we are truly children of God in 2 Peter chapter 1. These anniversaries aren't meant to be a legalistic checklist on which we attempt to improve. These characteristics, on the other hand, show that a person is spiritually maturing.
Through our awareness of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, his divine power has given us everything we need for a holy life. He has given us his most significant and precious promises through them, so that you may share in the divine nature while avoiding the pollution in the world caused by sinful impulses.
Make every effort to add goodness to your faith, and goodness to knowledge, and knowledge to self-control, and self-control to perseverance, and perseverance to godliness, and godliness to mutual affection, and mutual affection to love. Because if you increase your possession of these traits, you will be less ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever does not have them, on the other hand, is nearsighted and shortsighted, forgetting that their past offenses have been forgiven.
Make every attempt, dear brothers and sisters, to affirm your calling and election. Because if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will be warmly welcomed into our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's eternal kingdom.
Born-again believers should evolve spiritually beyond their first conversion, much as my daughter Sydney no longer acts like an infant but has progressed to a healthy and busy toddler. The traits stated in 2 Peter as evidence of this progress include “faith, kindness, knowledge, self-control, holiness, and love.” Surprisingly, I've encountered teenagers who are spiritually more developed than some of the older adults I've met. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with our age; it is entirely about our ability to grow in our relationship with God. If you've read this far, I'm guessing you're someone who wants to grow in her faith. Here are five spiritual growth keys that I'm working on in my own life:
1. The WordIn 1 Peter, we're instructed that drinking the “pure milk of God's word” helps us develop in faith. The analogy is clear, and one that I've personally observed. Milk is given to infants, and the consequence is a remarkable metamorphosis! Simply drinking milk causes those tiny fingers and toes, legs and limbs to expand, stretch, and develop! It's no accident that the Bible refers to itself as “pure milk” for spiritual development. A believer must feed herself the Word of God on a regular basis in order to progress in her faith. Going to church or Bible study once a week is insufficient. That would be the same of eating a meal on Sunday and then going hungry for the rest of the week. If we want to grow and deepen in our faith, we must feed ourselves the Word of God on a daily basis.
2. Christ-centered Community I can attest from personal experience that nothing has helped me grow spiritually more than being around by other Christ-followers who love Jesus, fear God, and want to live for His glory. We encourage accountability, we are challenged to know God better, and we have relationships with others who will pray for us when we face hardships or temptations when we surround ourselves with a Christ-centered community. Indeed, we are stronger when we work together.
3. Walk in the Spirit – Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our “Assistant.”
He is the one who walks alongside us and supports us when we are weak. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from the inside out so that we might act, think, and love as Jesus did. God's Spirit develops us and produces Christ-like attributes in us as we stay in step with Him. We must continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct our steps, and to conform us to Christ's image.
4. Surrender – The only way to win in the Kingdom of God is to surrender. We can only begin to live the abundant life Jesus promised when we yield to God's will and walk in His ways. We begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit when we surrender our will to God's will. Surrendering to God is what obedience entails. We mature and grow as a result of these surrendering moments. “Physical maturity is connected to time,” argues John Bevere. “Obedience is a prerequisite for spiritual maturation.”
5. Humility – Pride is the greatest significant impediment to spiritual progress. Pride deceives us into believing that we are doing fine. Instead of gazing at Jesus' perfection, pride compares itself to someone else. Our pride makes us blind to our flaws. Humility, on the other hand, is essential for maturity because it keeps us living in daily desperation for Jesus and clinging to Him for everything. “Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing,” the mature person knows.
As a mother, I'm inclined to clutch my child and hope she'd never grow up. Then I remember all of the amazing things Jesus has planned for her, and I realize that, as much as I enjoy the cuddles and sweetness that come with this age, I want her to blossom into a mature lady who loves Jesus and lives for His glory.
Friends, we are in the same boat. As we grow in our faith, the whole of heaven is rooting for us. As we grow from infants to great women of God capable of leading, teaching, and shepherding others, God, our Heavenly Father, watches over us and loves us.
How do I connect to my inner power?
Every ounce of squandered energy depletes your inner power. Why waste time and effort doing things inefficiently and redundantly? Control what you can so you may concentrate your energies and mental energy on the things you can't. Take a notepad with you. Divide your everyday duties into two categories: repetitive and thinking. Then, for the repetitious jobs, build processes and routines. You'll be ecstatic with the extra time and mental space you've gained.
What are some spiritual activities?
Finding meaning and purpose in life may be a lifelong process that changes over time as a result of unique circumstances, personal experiences, and global events. A person's level of spiritual wellness, like the other dimensions of wellness, varies throughout their life. It's common to feel a range of emotions on the route to spiritual healing, both positive and negative (hope, forgiveness, acceptance, joy) (doubt, fear, disappointment, conflict).
Spiritual wellbeing has the power to make our decisions and choices easier, to center us during times of change, and to provide us with the resiliency to face hardship with grace and inner peace. Having a spiritual component in our lives may even assist us in healing whether we are afflicted with a physical or mental ailment.
Take a moment to measure your spiritual well-being by answering the following questions.
- Do I make an effort to broaden my understanding of various ethnic, racial, and religious groups?
Practice Spiritual Wellness
When it comes to spiritual wellness, it's vital to identify the strategy and approach that works best for you; unlike the other dimensions of wellness, there is no “one size fits all” solution.
- Volunteering in your community, spending time in nature, and appreciating music and the arts are all good things to do.
In future articles regarding spiritual wellness, we'll look at ways to figure out what your meaning or purpose is, as well as activities that can help you maintain or improve your spiritual wellness.