Archive for October 17th, 2020

Spiritual Formation


Written by Bill Gaultiere, a contemporary psychologist and spiritual formation pastor to pastors. This is an excerpt from his Soul Shepherding blog.

Dallas Willard defines spiritual formation for the Christ-follower as, “The Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ himself.”  Notice that spiritual formation focuses on the Spirit of Jesus shaping our inner being. Your thoughts, feelings, motives, choices, body, and relational connections all need to be re-formed by grace. Jesus says we’re called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, and relationships. There are more dynamics involved in human flourishing and social justice (or not) than to just believe and do what’s right, as is often taught. The pandemic has revealed what has been forming people on the inside for months and years prior. Under stress, their previously developed attitudes, emotional postures, relational alliances, patterns of choice, and bodily habits take over. Most of this is unconscious. To love others like Jesus does, we need to bring our whole self to him in a process of training. We’re spending time with him in an emotionally honest relationship, confessing our hurts and short-comings, and absorbing his mercy and teaching.

Jesus’ first followers suffered from injustice, abuse, and divisiveness. They were not racist, raging, abusing alcohol, or overwhelmed with fear like so many people today in the pandemic. They were loving to all people, including different ethnic groups and their enemies. How did they do this? How did they keep blessing those that cursed them? They trained with the Master to learn his easy yoke way of doing hard things. They developed heart habits of enjoying God’s loving presence and sharing his love with others. Jesus is inviting you to train with him when he says, “I see how tired you are. I have a tender heart for you. Come get into the grace-yoke with me. Let’s pull the plow across the field together so we can harvest crops of love and peace to feed hungry people.  We learn the easy yoke way of Jesus through engaging in a strategic mix of spiritual disciplines like Bible study, quiet prayer, serving others, and soul talk with friends.


Written by John Henry Newman (1801-1890), an English theologian, poet and priest.

Help me spread your fragrance everywhere I go — let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by my example — by the catching force, the sympathetic influences of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you. Amen.

Read Full Post »