Why Reflection is the Cornerstone of Spiritual Growth - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Biblical Wisdom Faith
January 19, 2017

Why Reflection is the Cornerstone of Spiritual Growth

Reflection: Serious thought or consideration. Contemplation, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing.

Did you know that the single most effective thing you can do to accelerate and deepen your spiritual growth is to reflect on the meaning of Scripture in your life? If CrossFit is the premier high-impact method for strengthening and conditioning your body, “spending time in Bible reflection is hands down the highest impact personal spiritual practice,” according to Christianity Today.

This spiritual-growth-catalyzing reflection is more than just skimming a morning devotional while you grab breakfast or scanning your Bible before bed. It requires deliberate and thoughtful pondering of the materials that quicken and inspire you, using a method and frequency that motivates you to be your best self.

In addition to renewing your commitment to spend meaningful and regular time contemplating Bible passages, here are a few other reflection practice ideas for you to ponder.

Daily reflection

Perform a quick once-over of your activities, encounters, thoughts, feelings, and motives before retiring each night. As the Anonymous programs suggest in Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

What did you do right today? Where could you have done better? Were your motives self-seeking? Do you owe anyone an apology? These questions help you take a step back from the microscopic day-to-day goings-on to examine your heart and conscience. Areas of your life that need attention and unproductive habits become clearer, and you are able to confess your failings to God and ask for forgiveness.

Reflecting on your mistakes and confessing them makes you less likely to repeat them, turning them into valuable learning tools and not something to feel shame or guilt over. Once forgiven, we can realize that “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (Ps. 103:12, NLT) Make this daily inventory “searching and fearless” (Step Four), but be gentle and self-affirming, too. You’re trying your hardest, and after all, God loves you.

Weekly reflection

Set aside a specific time on Sunday to look back at the week just ending. Did you enjoy a few personal victories at home, work, or school? Are there areas in which you feel you came up a bit short when you remember the goals you set for last week? What can you do differently, starting tomorrow morning, to help yourself have a more productive, loving, and empowering new week?

Add inspirational fuel to the fire of your reflection practice by setting a weekly challenge for yourself. Choose something that’s doable, but be sure it’s an act that pushes your comfort zone and tests your resolve. How about:

  • I’ll perform one random act of kindness anonymously this week, without calling any attention to my actions.
  • I’ll hold my tongue whenever I’m tempted to be sarcastic or complaining.
  • When people ask how I am, I’ll reply “Never been better!” and mean it.

Don’t forget to celebrate your successes at the end of each week. You’ll feel happier, more centered and balanced, and eager to take on a new challenge next week.

Reflection on the go

Be flexible with your reflection practice if that suits your temperament better. The habit is portable and mobile, after all. Reflect while you jog, power walk, cycle, or skate. Some of us have our most innovative creative visions and inspiring, problem-solving breakthroughs while we’re moving outdoors in nature.

Other people find a fluid environment, such as a hot bath, steamy shower, or brisk swim, conducive to contemplative moments. Combine your commitment to spiritual growth with your passion for physical well-being and you’ve doubled the power of your life-affirming reflection practice.

If you’re interested in learning more about the biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to explore the possibilities with you.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your career goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email admissions@geneva.edu.

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2008/fall/10.63.html

https://zenhabits.net/5-powerful-reasons-to-make-reflection-a-daily-habit-and-how-to-do-it/

http://www.corporatestateuniversity.com/blog/the-importance-of-reflection

https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/12-step-programs/