Your spiritual health is important. It affects your physical, social, and emotional well-being. Yet, so many of us are willing to ignore our spiritual health as we set goals to become our best selves. This year, let’s make a pledge to spend more time focusing on improving our spiritual well-being even as we strive to become the best versions of ourselves. Here are 5 ways to improve your spiritual health this year.
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How Can You Improve Your Spiritual Health
Spiritual wellness helps us to maintain balance in the many areas of our lives. When we get too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, we often end up neglecting our own health (spiritual, physical, and mental). This can result in things getting out of whack!
Your spiritual health sets the tone for everything else! When you improve your spiritual health, you improve your relationship with God.
Some ways to do this are:
- Bible Study
Improve Your Spiritual Health Through Fasting
One of the best things you can do for your spiritual health is to fast. Now, I know fasting is not one of the sexiest spiritual disciplines around, but it’s one that Jesus considered important for those who would want to draw closer to Him.
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast (Matthew 9:14-15 ESV).
Notice that Jesus said “will” not “may”. He knew fasting would be a critical part of being a Christian and he wanted his disciples to know it. Do you fast? Maybe you’re afraid to fast because you’re not sure what to do. I understand.
But there are many resources available to help you learn more about fasting. Take the plunge and choose to give up something you love for a few days as you spend more time with God.
Improve Your Spiritual Health Through Bible Study
If you’re anything like me, at some point or other you’ve made a plan to read your Bible more at the beginning of a new year. Maybe you even tried to read the entire Bible in 365 days. And maybe you did it and found treasures in the Bible you never knew were there and that’s awesome. That was my experience in 2014.
I read from Genesis to Revelation and for the first time could say I had read the entire Bible. But I have never been able to do it since. And maybe that’s you. You want to read your Bible but you just can’t seem to get into it. May I suggest another way?
Now I know what you’re thinking: how is Bible study any different than reading the Bible? Oh, honey, you do not want to get me started. The simplest way I can explain it is that reading the Bible gives more of a surface level understanding while studying it allows you to dig into the text.
You may not think you have what it takes to do an in-depth Bible study, after all, you don’t have a degree in theology or any such thing—but you don’t have to.
The Holy Spirit is a great teacher and he will show you what he wants you to learn from his Word if you commit to show up and do the work.
Besides, we live in an age where there are many resources available to help us study the Bible. The beautiful thing is you can start by studying one verse and it’s easier than you think.
Improve Your Spiritual Health Through Discipleship
One of the things Christ did while He was on earth, was to create disciples. He deliberately chose to surround himself with people who wanted to learn more of what he knew and what he knew was the Heavenly Father.
Since we are called to emulate Christ, we are called to make disciples–that’s why Jesus included it in the Great Commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19 NKJV).
What are you waiting for? Jesus has given you the task to teach others about him. And maybe this is something you will do on a small scale in your home by teaching your children about God.
Or maybe, you’ll be involved in discipleship on a grander scale like at your church or by becoming a missionary. Whatever the medium, choose to tell someone about Jesus and change their lives for eternity.
Improve Your Spiritual Health Through Prayer
There are two things most Christians will agree on:
- There is power in prayer, and
- We don’t pray enough.
Why not make a decision this year to change that? Make a conscious choice to spend more time talking to God and listening to what he has to say. The Bible has this to say about the power of prayer:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24 ESV).
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him (1 John 5:14-15 ESV).
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16 ESV).
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalm 34:17 ESV).
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16 ESV).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 ESV).
From these verses, we can see that prayer:
- gives us an audience with God
- has the power to have our deepest desires fulfilled
- gives us access to God’s mercy and grace
- brings healing
- allows us to access forgiveness for our sins
Why then do we refuse to pray? I hope like me, you’ll make a pledge to pray more this year–not for anything you could potentially gain, but so that you can be drawn closer to your Heavenly Father.
Improve Your Spiritual Health Through Mentorship
Maybe you don’t think you have anything to teach anyone. But I guarantee that you’ve had at least one experience that has taught you something that someone could benefit from.
As the body of Christ, we are called to be witnesses. We are meant to tell people about the wonderful things God has done in our lives and what we are hoping he will do in the future.
But many of us don’t. We don’t talk about our faith because we fear what others will think about us or how they will react. Maybe you don’t share about Christ because there are laws in your country which restrict your ability to do so.
But you can share the love of Jesus through mentorship. Find one person outside your family to whom you can be a witness. It could be as simple as spending a few minutes talking to the person each week.
There is someone who needs to know what you have to share. Pray about it and allow God to lead you to the person who needs you to be their mentor.
Our spiritual health is important. As you go through the process of making plans for the New Year, I hope you’ll consider adding one of these godly goals to your list.