How to grow spir­i­tu­ally in the new year

An­swers to Your Ques­tions

Activated - - NEWS -

Q Many of my friends are mak­ing res­o­lu­tions for the new year, most of which in­volve some phys­i­cal change such as los­ing weight or break­ing a bad habit. While those are good, I would like to re­solve to grow in my spir­i­tual life this com­ing year. Do you have any sug­ges­tions as to how I can ac­com­plish that? A From God’s per­spec­tive, we’re all a work in progress. He wants to see us make as much progress as we can and will help us as much as we let Him. “‘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.’”

1 Here are five ways to grow and ma­ture spir­i­tu­ally:

1. In­volve God in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process. From the time we are small chil­dren, we learn through parental in­struc­tion. Just so, we grow spir­i­tu­ally as we learn to fol­low God’s in­struc­tion, as we turn to Him in prayer and ap­ply the spir­i­tual prin­ci­ples in His Word to our de­ci­sions.

2. Ex­er­cise faith. Just as we learn through ex­pe­ri­ence, through suf­fer­ing the con­se­quences of wrong de­ci­sions and reap­ing the re­wards of right de­ci­sions, we grow spir­i­tu­ally as our faith is put to the test and we see that it is the so­lu­tion to life’s prob­lems.

3. Give of your­self. As we fo­cus on meet­ing the needs of oth­ers and mak­ing them happy, we be­come con­duits of God’s love. And as we pour out, God pours into us. “Give freely and be­come more wealthy; be stingy and lose ev­ery­thing. The gen­er­ous will pros­per; those who re­fresh oth­ers will them­selves be re­freshed.”

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4. Rec­og­nize and work on weak ar­eas. We all have room for im­prove­ment. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s hum­bling to ac­knowl­edge our

3 weak­nesses, even if only to our­selves and God. But if we can do so and show our­selves open to ad­vice, re­minders, and prayers, we find our­selves on the fast track to spir­i­tual progress.

5. Take on new chal­lenges. When we close our­selves off to new in­for­ma­tion and ideas, we stop grow­ing in­tel­lec­tu­ally. When we close our­selves off from other peo­ple, we stop grow­ing emo­tion­ally. But when we close our­selves off to new chal­lenges, we stop grow­ing in­tel­lec­tu­ally, emo­tion­ally, and spir­i­tu­ally. We only make progress by mov­ing for­ward and ris­ing to new chal­lenges.

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