We’re looking at spiritual training this week. We’ll look at questions two and three today.
2. What does maturity look like?
When training, it helps to have models of what you want to look like, examples that you want to follow. In spiritual training, one model is almost always Jesus. (I want to be as forgiving as Jesus, as patient as Jesus, as compassionate as Jesus). But it’s worth thinking about other examples as well. Who is someone that has become more caring the longer you’ve known them? Who has demonstrated patience through incredibly rough situations?
3. What does growth in this area look like?
In order to identify ways to develop, we have to break the characteristic or capacity into components. If we were talking about marathon training, we could talk about nutrition, weight-training, and various components of running. If we were talking about public speaking training, we could talk about topic selection, voice characteristics, illustrations, and audience interaction. For spiritual training, I can explain this question best by illustration.
So you want to stop gossiping. What does that include? What are the components of gossiping? We gossip because we want to fit in, so it is connected to insecurity. We gossip because we want to feel better about ourselves by tearing others down, so it is connected to poor self-image. We gossip because we can’t find better things to talk about, so it’s connected to being aware of positive characteristics of people. We gossip because we don’t understand how it can affect other people. We gossip because we don’t know how to direct conversations. We gossip because we are bullied by people who control agendas.
To stop gossiping then, you can work on insecurity, self-image, conversation skills, resisting bullies, and looking for strengths in people.
For the thing you are wanting to develop in 2015, who are your models? What are the parts?