Dr. Kimberly Riley
Do you feel like you don’t know where to begin your spiritual growth process? If you want to grow and develop your spirituality, this spiritual development plan might be helpful for you.
Why Do You Want a Spiritual Development Plan?
So, now that you have decided you would like to develop your spirituality or your faith, you may be wondering where to begin. People have many different reasons for why they want to begin a spiritual development plan, so what would you say your reason is? Have you always had some level of spirituality, and now you want to develop it more?
Do you have questions and are curious about certain things within in your faith system? Maybe you are going through a tough time and you want to know how to fight spiritually. Possibly you want to develop your spirituality so that you can teach someone else and help them with their faith. Whatever the reason is, your first step in developing a spiritual plan is to know why you are doing it and to recognize what you would like the outcome to look like.
As you begin to look into spiritual plans, you may want to think about what it is that you desire to gain. Some people want to focus on a specific topic to meet their current needs, while others want a plan that is ongoing and can be a part of their life as a way to maintain a healthy spiritual balance.
There are many different things that you may want to address with your spiritual plan such as financial freedom, physical and mental healing, spiritual knowledge and growth, self-awareness, relationships, and work. With a spiritual plan in place, you can have an effective way to grow your faith with the best outcome in mind.
The Bible is the best tool to help build your spiritual development plan because there are many scriptures that speak to the idea of gaining wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
Here are a few Scriptures that may motivate you to begin the journey to developing your spirituality:
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. –Proverbs 4:7
I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my maker. – Job 36:3
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. – Romans 12:11
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. – 1 Corinthians 2:13
When Should You Begin Your Spiritual Development Plan?You may be at a period in your life where you are looking for something new. Perhaps you are a new Christian and you want to understand the Bible more or you are at a place in your spiritual walk where you want to go deeper.
Maybe you are entering into adulthood and are curious about how you will live spiritually different than when you were a teenager or you are entering into new relationships as a spouse or parent. There really isn’t a time in life that isn’t perfect to develop spiritually and find a plan that helps you do that. We can always learn something new, so now is a great time to start.
Are you part of a church or small group where you and your peers grow spiritually together? Finding a church home that feels like it is supportive of you and your spiritual needs may be first on the list of things to add to your spiritual development plan. Having a church that teaches in a way that is meaningful to you will encourage you to want to continue learning and maybe even invite your friends to come worship and learn with you.
If you are not already part of a small group through your church, you may want to join one. Small groups often meet outside of the church as a designated location. The small group setting is designed to be an intimate space where you get to know other people who want to learn about the same thing you are interested in. Lots of lifelong relationships can be made in the small group setting and as you grow together socially, you will also grow together spiritually.
Part of your spiritual development may include your church and those around you. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your spiritual development plan.
- Are you getting what you need at the church you have always been a part of or is it time for something new and different?
- Do you like a smaller church setting or larger?
- Does your church offer Sunday School, Bible Study, or Small Group options?
- What about the music? Do you feel moved by the worship songs?
- If you have children, is there a growing youth ministry?
- What opportunities are there for you to serve?
- Do you have a church community that fees supportive of your personal needs and can you offer your support to your church community also?
Knowing people within your church family, from the spiritual leader to the people greeting at the front door will likely promote your spiritual development goals involving church attendance, serving at church, or creating new relationships at church. Possibly after thinking about some of the questions above you might add something around your church to your spiritual development plan, because your church can play a big role in the way that you develop spiritually.
Again, at any moment in life, creating and following a spiritual development plan will have benefits for your life, but there are more urgent times where you may be searching for ways to develop spiritually because something requires your immediate attention.
Your health, both physical and mental, can be at the top of the list of things you may need to take care of and a spiritual development plan can be helpful. Having proper self-care should be something you embrace as you grow spiritually because self-care can be a spiritual act all by itself.
Self-care is defined medically by Merriam-Webster as “care for oneself”. As you think about your spirituality, maybe you want to know more about how you can care for yourself spiritually so that in return you have better health.
Maybe you are looking for a guide to wellness or you are trying to maintain the health that you have, either way, your spirituality and faith system might be the key to your healing, so including spiritual development into your daily self-care routine is necessary.
Here are a few scriptures that may provide you with peace and healing in the area of your physical and mental health and can be a part of your spiritual development plan.
Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. – Jeremiah 33:6
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. – Matthew 4:23
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. – Romans 8:5-6
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. – 3 John 1:2
But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk. – John 5:11
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. – Ecclesiastes 3:12
With these scriptures and an idea of how you would like to take care of yourself spiritually, physically, and mentally, maybe you can now create your spiritual development plan to include self-care. Here are a few reminders of how your spirituality is related to your overall wellness.
- You can find healing through faith by believing that you can be well.
- You can trust that God will provide peace and healing, knowing that that peace and healing may look different during various moments in your life.
- You can try praying because prayer works. When prayer works you will see the benefits as well as others in your life who you may be praying for or who are praying for you.
- You can set your mind on things that are Spirit-led and the outcome will be life giving.
- Jesus will always bring the good news which is beneficial for healing.
There are other reasons, such as relationships and the desire to grow spiritually as a person individually or within the relationships that you are in. You may be the new parent to a brand new baby or a foster parent trying to understand the best way for you to support the child or children in your home.You might be a newlywed curious about how you should begin your marriage or a seasoned spouse looking to renew your love. Maybe you are searching for ways to develop your spiritual gifts and figure out how you have been designed to use them and where you should start or go next. Either way, spiritual development is a great way to grow individually or within your relationships.
As you build your spiritual development plan you may want to ask yourself a few questions about who you believe you are as a person already and who you believe you have been called to be.
You may already know exactly who you are and your spiritual plan may be to add to what you are already doing as a person, but you can have a positive experience and boost your self-awareness and self-esteem by recognizing the things you are already doing that are motivated by your spirituality or dreaming about the ways that you can do more.
Here are a few scriptures that might speak to your position in your relationships and your quest to understand your spiritual gifts. Reading through these might give you a better idea of some of the questions you may want to ask yourself as you put together your spiritual development plan.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. – 1 Corinthians 7:3
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. –Ephesians 5:33
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. –Proverbs 27:9
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. – Job 42:10
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. –Corinthians 12:1
So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. – 1 Corinthians 14:12
Now that you have some of the things you need to begin your spiritual development plan, you may be ready to start the journey and successfully grow your faith, gain understanding, flourish in your relationships, and increase your self-awareness.
Through this process, you may have feelings and emotions that can be a struggle to work through on your own. If you get to a point in the plan where you are in need of having someone else to work through these things with, there are counselors here at Seattle Christian Counseling who are able to help you process your thoughts and continue on the path of developing your spirituality.
“Prayer”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Hands High”, Courtesy of Matt Botsford, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Open Bible”, Courtesy of Aaron Burden, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Writer”, Courtesy of Kinga Cichewicz, Unsplash.com, CC0 License