Recently, I have read several books on productivity, maximizing your time, and efficiency. These books are all geared towards leadership, exercise, dieting, work patterns, and motivation. They have been full of great information but have offered very little from a spiritual point of view. However, I believe I have been able to pull out some great concepts from the ideas presented in Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness and the Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden that could help you accelerate your spiritual growth.
Aside from the obvious read the Bible, pray more, serve, or join a small group, I believe there are ways we can increase our spiritual growth. In fact, there are ways we can improve upon the disciplines most of us already utilize in our spiritual walk.
Here are 3 ways to accelerate your spiritual growth:
1. READ THE BIBLE WHEN IT WORKS BEST FOR YOU:
I think for a long time I have failed at this. I have often pressured myself to become that early riser that gets up at 5:00 AM, pray for an hour, reads the Scriptures for an hour, and then journals for another hour. I am sorry but that just isn't going to be me. I hate to wake up early. I am also so much better at listening to the Bible than I am reading it. I think if you want to accelerate your growth you have got to find a pattern that works for who you are.
Read the bible or listen to it. Do this when it works for you. If it is at night, afternoon, in the morning, or in the shower. Plan to read whenever you go to the bathroom. We all take our phones with us to the restroom anyways.
COME ON... You know you do it!
Read/listen when it works best for you. I have two recommendations that go along with this. 1) Do it the same time every day so that it becomes a habit. 2) Give yourself time to meditate on what you just read or listened to. The Youversion Bible app makes this very easy. You can set up a daily reading plan and even have it remind you to read at the same time every day.
2. SCHEDULE & GUARD YOUR REST TIME
I think this is an area where Christians are across the board are failing miserably. Christians, like much of the world, have bought into the belief that business is a sign of importance, success, value, and even spiritual maturity or dare I say "holiness."
I TOTALLY DISAGREE. I think being busy means you are just busy. It could also mean that you have a problem saying no, which could be a spiritual problem not a sign of spiritual growth.
It is critical for our spiritual health and our ability to grow for us to plan time to rest. When the tank is empty we cannot pour into others, love people properly, or even be used by God to our fullest potential. We see time and time again the Gospel accounts where Jesus would slip away and take time by himself to be with God. If Jesus needed it than we most definitely need it.
It is a MUST.
I encourage you to grab your calendar; plan for time with your family, plan time off, and plan rest periods during your week, month, or even your day if you can. Don't make the mistake of thinking that never taking a vacation or a day off is a sign of strength and success. It is probably more likely a warning sign that you are headed for a big burnout.
3. JOURNAL SPORADICALLY
As I said, I have always been tempted to think that because I don't get up early, journal, pray, and read my bible before the sun comes up it makes me a bad Christian. Perhaps that is true.
However, I think that journaling sporadically can really accelerate your spiritual growth. You don't need to get up and do it every morning but keep a note on your phone or in a small notebook. Carry it with you throughout the day and make sporadic notes as God speaks to you throughout the day. Make notes about what you read in the Bible that day, make notes about things you are grateful for or things that you struggle with as the day goes on.
I don't know about you but I forget a lot of stuff and this helps me keep track of my thoughts. I find that when I make notes of something God pointed out to me or something that I am learning it sticks with me way longer.
We may not get it right every day but the hope is that we grow closer each day. I hope this helps you LOVE MORE and DO MORE for OTHERS.