Last week we talked about the importance of establishing habits that can contribute to our physical health – You can check out that post here!
This week, I want to talk about habits that can contribute to our spiritual health.
It’s important to remember that spiritual health habits are not a box to check, a way to earn our salvation, or a means to feel better than others. Instead, they are a means to an end – the end being an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
So, hopefully you will be inspired to start making your spiritual health a top priority every single day. And believe it or not, your spiritual health affects your physical health (and vice-versa). When you care for both, it’s like polishing two sides of the same coin!
Here are 5 habits that have transformed my life and can transform yours too:
1. Read Your Bible
“The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.” -Augustine of Hippo
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” -Charles Spurgeon
“I want to know one thing, the way to heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end he came from heaven. He has written it down in a book! Oh, give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be: “A man of one book.” – John Wesley
There has never been nor will there ever be a book greater than the Bible – God’s Holy Word given to us that we might know Him. I love the description of the Bible being like God’s love letter to us! What does one typically do with a love letter? They pour over every word of it, because it’s coming from the one they love so much.
If you really want to know God better, read His Word! Make it a habit to get into His Word every single day. There are so many different ways to study Scripture – Bible reading plans, in-depth book studies, overview studies, one-verse-a-day meditations, etc. The point is to open the Bible, start reading, and get to know the God who loves you! If you need help, you can check out my blog posts, “10 Bible Reading Plans to get you in the Word” and “10 Benefits of Memorizing Scripture” to help you get started.
Are you in the habit of meeting God daily through His Word? What benefits has it brought to your life?
2. Keep a Prayer Journal
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord” -Psalm 102:18
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” -Psalm 143:5
Journaling is one of my favorite habits for a healthy mind and soul. It is a way of remembering all the moments of life – the good ones, the bad ones, the small ones, and the big ones. It is a way to wrestle with tough questions and record your many blessings. Years ago, I started turning the contents of my journal into an ongoing conversation with the Lord. Instead of “Dear Diary”, my entries became “Dear Heavenly Father”, and I started pouring out my heart to the One who knows me best.
Now, here are just a few of the things that I include in my Prayer Journal:
- Decisions to be made
- What the Lord is teaching me
- Goals and Dreams
- Scripture Memory Verses
This habit has completely changed my daily quiet times and has served as a wonderful way to draw closer to my Savior. As I look back through old entries, I can see God’s faithfulness, His provision, and His never-ending love for me over the years. And it is such an encouragement to trust Him for the future.
I love this quote from author Wayne Cordeiro, author of “Leading on Empty”:
“Our lives are like notebooks. Some are lived with empty pages – nothing written down. Others are filled with experiences, but once recorded, they are never visited again. The best lives are like notebooks whose writings are read and reflected upon over and over again. Lessons are extracted and futures are reassessed.”
Do you keep a prayer journal? What benefits have you seen?
3. Memorize Scripture
Hopefully it goes without saying, but the point of memorizing Scripture is not just to know a bunch of Scripture. The Pharisees knew Scripture better than anyone! Remember what Jesus said to them?
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” -John 5:39-40
The point of knowing Scripture is to point us to Jesus that we might know Him and love Him more. It’s to renew our minds and transform our lives (Rom. 12:2). It’s to shape our worldview and how we handle life. It helps us navigate our relationship with others.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are many more benefits to memorizing Scripture – you can find them here – “10 Benefits of Memorizing Scripture“. But remember, the most important one is KNOWING Jesus!
If you’re new to memorizing Scripture, start with a current need in your life, and look up the key word in a concordance (i.e. If you’re struggling with fear, look up fear in a Bible concordance and make a list of “Do not fear” verses you can begin memorizing). Write them on 3×5 cards or look for cute Scripture Cards on Etsy or Amazon to put around your office or home.
Do you have a favorite method for memorizing Scripture?
4. Use Your Phone
Have you ever thought of using your phone to practice spiritual habits? While most of us are already in the habit of using our phones throughout the day, why not spend some of that time nourishing your soul?
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Listening to Sermons
- Listening to Uplifting Podcasts
- Listening to Worship Music
- Listening to the Bible being read
- Listening to Scripture set to music
- Using a Bible Memory App
- Download YouVersion App (numerous Bible versions, commentaries, etc)
- Watch Sermons or Bible studies on YouTube
I love to put my phone to use when I am working out, going for a walk around the neighborhood, driving in my car, doing household chores or cooking. It’s a great way to feed my soul while also doing another task that doesn’t require much thought.
Why not view your phone as a tool that can draw you closer to Jesus? Do you have a favorite app or way you use your phone that helps you nourish your soul?
5. Read Good Spiritual Books
“You can’t get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” -C.S. Lewis
I am a big believer in reading all kinds of books, and of course, that includes good, spiritual books. Again, not for the sake of simply knowing more information – but to help us draw closer to the Lord. Remember, that is the point of all spiritual habits and disciplines – not to check a box or earn favor but a closer relationship with our Savior.
Books have been a huge influence in my life and some have truly been life-changing. Some authors have served as mentors in my life even though I’ve never met them. Others have challenged my thinking or helped me understand the Bible better. But without a doubt, the habit of reading has transformed my life and helped me maintain spiritual health.
When looking for trustworthy Christian authors, make sure they are known for staying true to Scripture and believe the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith (to know what those are, Google the Nicene and/or Apostles Creed). The more you practice Spiritual Habit #1, the more you will be able to identify good authors!
What Christian book has been most influential in your life?