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How to stay spiritually healthy

Doug Bender

August 18, 2020 | 4 minute read

Whether you’re returning to school, the office, or still trying to adjust to the new pandemic induced normal, here’s the essential list of spiritual to-do’s that you’ll need to work into your ever changing schedule.

Connect with the Voice of God

There are a lot of voices out there fighting for your attention. Politicians want your vote, influencers want your likes, advertisers your eyeballs, and even your friends and family have their two cents of advice and input they expect you to listen to. To find your way in all the loud madness of our world, you’re going to need a way to discern truth from fiction and opinion. Introducing: the Bible. Even if you’re still testing out what you really think and believe about God, this book has a way of giving its readers clarity in foggy times.

"Where do I start?"

Luke - If you’re trying to get a handle on who Jesus is, what he taught, and what happened while he walked the earth, take a look at the book of Luke. You’ll find the words of Jesus recorded in this book to be extremely applicable in whatever situation you’re in.

Proverbs  - This book is just as it sounds, a collection of divinely inspired proverbs for all of life’s situations including: money, relationships, romance, and work. Take a look.

"What’s the best way to read or study it?"

There’s a ton of great tools out there to get you started, but here’s the simple and effective method we’ve always recommended. Pick a reasonably sized passage (a few lines, a paragraph or a single story) and then answer these questions about the passage:

  1. What do I like?
  2. What’s confusing or challenging?
  3. What’s this teach about people?
  4. What’s this teach about God?
  5. How can I live this out?
  6. Who can I tell about what I’ve learned?

Build a Spiritual Community

Social distancing has a way of making all of us feel, well, a bit socially distanced. But spiritual health requires interaction, support, and encouragement. In sum, you’ll need a community who shares your values in seeking God and being spiritually healthy. If you’re a church-going person, that’s a great place to start. Just don’t be confused into thinking that attending a sermon means you’ve got a community. If you’re looking for something deeper consider gathering a group together this fall and starting something new. It’s not that complicated to make happen. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Share where you’re at spiritually with a few trusted friends. Far from God but wanting to get closer? Tell them that. Seasoned veteran of the faith, but want to liven things up? Tell them that. Either way tell a few friends where you’re at and ask them if they’ll join you in going further.
  2. Figure out your meeting situation: where and when. Twice a month is the bare minimum for most people to feel that community connection, but you can also consider weekly. The where depends on how you want/need to handle the virus situation. There are lots of great video conferencing options available. Don’t be afraid to give one a try.
  3. Have a meeting structure. If you get together without any structure, you’ll likely find you never get to the deeper stuff that builds community. Check out our simple and easy to use discussion guides for a great way to guide your gatherings. Did I say they’re free?

Talk with God

Talking with God, also called prayer, will do a few things for your spiritual health. First, it gives you access to the God of the universe who actually can help with whatever’s going on in your life. Second, you’ll also find the practice very calming. When done right, prayer is something that redirects your worries, troubles, and negative emotions off of you and onto someone big enough to actually handle it (that’s God). If you’re new to this (or even if you just need a refresher), here’s the sorts of things that Jesus taught his followers to talk with God about.

Relationship - Talk with God about how he has related to you. Has he been a friend? Father? Guide? Source of inspiration? Remember you’re not talking to some vague energy source, but an actual living God.

Praise - Share with God what you appreciate about him and what he’s done. A bit of positive affirmation is not only good relationship advice (even when talking with God), but it focuses your mind on the positive.

Surrender - Remember how I said talking with God can redirect your worries? Go ahead and tell God all those things that are bothering you and give them up to him.

Ask - Have a specific need in your life? God literally told us to ask him for stuff. He’s smart enough to know not to say yes to all of our crazy ideas, but also good enough to say yes when it’ll bring good to your life and the world.

Confess - Have you been carrying guilt around? God made a huge promise: he’ll forgive anything and everything you ask him to. Life and this world still has a way of requiring consequences, but the guilt part of things God is happy to relieve you of.

Protect - Here’s another of those stress relievers. If you’re worried about some danger, ask God for his protection. Maybe it’s your health (spiritual or physical), your finances, or anything else. Bring it to God and ask him to show up.

 

Most of us are heading into some change this fall (if we have already). School is starting back up, but it won’t be normal. Some people are going back into the office, dealing with more Zoom calls, or having strenuous cleaning procedures added to our load. Whatever’s ahead, you’ll need to make sure you’re staying spiritually healthy and not just physically healthy. Give the tips above a try and also reach out to one of our Live Second Coaches who can also give you practical advice and help in this area.

 
Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at iamsecond.com and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

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