Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines

Potter And Clay
Richard Foster comments in the November Renovare newsletter:

“We refuse to think of spiritual formation in terms of various practices . . . ever.

In another era those practices were things like ‘a quiet time’ and Bible study of one sort or another. Today it is Lectio Divina and ‘journaling.’ May I say as clearly as possible: Christian spiritual formation has nothing essentially to do with such practices. Many practices can be genuinely helpful in their place, but they are not ‘it.’

What is ‘it’ is LIFE—life with Jesus, interactive relationship with the great God of the universe, inner transformation into Christlikeness.

Now, this reality can happen with Lectio and with ‘journaling,’ and it can happen without them. It can, and it does!

The tendency today, unfortunately widespread, is to think of spiritual formation exclusively in terms of practices of one kind or another. Please, dear friend, do not fall into this trap. It will only produce legalism and bondage, and it utterly defeats spiritual formation. Many of the familiar practices are useful, to be sure, and some more than others. But none is essential. We all are to walk with the living Christ and then ‘in humility regard others as better than yourselves.’ (Phil. 2:3).”

One Response to “Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines”

  1. Bug Says:

    This is a great insight and one very valuable to those who are truly interesteed in growth in a gracious manner. THanks for sharing Foster’s comments.

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