As people of faith, it’s important to nurture our spiritual side. But many of us tend to get comfortable doing the same type of faith practice year after year.
Theologian Richard Foster suggests that we learn to love God and our neighbors better through activities that strengthen our intellect, our emotions, our relationships and our service.
If we think about expanding the variety of ways we experience and grow in our relationship with God, it can be life affirming and life nurturing.
Here are a four suggestions for how to grow in our faith:
1. Hit the books.
Get involved in a Bible study that will stretch your knowledge and perspective. Find out about life in biblical times and what the lessons are for today.
2. Give thanks.
Set aside some time each day for worship and praise.
This could be praying privately, attending a worship service, listening to music or sitting on the porch watching the beauty of nature around you.
Be intentional about noticing the handiwork of God and giving thanks for what he’s provided.
3. Get together.
Spending time with those we care about is an opportunity to celebrate our connections. If your friends or family live far away, consider joining a club or group to meet new people.
Conversations and being together serve as reminders of all we can learn from each other, and the many ways God has shown himself in people’s lives.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37–40
4. Share the love.
Put your faith into action. There are many kind and compassionate ways you can — as Jesus tells us — "love your neighbor as yourself."
Look around and find the people who need your encouragement, your assistance, your patience, your praise, your support, your attention, your prayers.
Service is about giving away our love and showing our concern for others.
In return, we often find that we learn as much or even more than those we serve.
It is God at work in us.
One of the best things about being a lifelong spiritual learner is that you’re never too old or too young.
God continues to work in our lives in many ways and through many experiences as we seek to love him with all our hearts, souls and minds.
May God bless you as you grow every day in your faith.