Is it a Spiritual Discipline or a Spiritual Rut?

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I just finished my daily devotions.

Was it a spiritual discipline, or a spiritual rut?

guy sleeping at his deskOn December 31st I finished reading the bible cover to cover for the um-teenth time.

Spiritual discipline or spiritual rut?

I meet for breakfast every Thursday with two trusted Christian friends for prayer, encouragement and accountability.

Spiritual discipline or spiritual rut?

Each of these practices can be good and important components to a Christ-centred life. But I’ve found that through endless repetition, sometimes these soul-filling disciplines can slowly become merely life-draining ruts.

What can you do if your disciplines are becoming stagnant? Here’s what I’ve learned in my own life. I call these the four “ups”:

  • Change up

o   Do you usually read your bible for 20 minutes? Skip it for a week and take a walk with God instead.

  • Start up

o   Maybe it’s time to try a spiritual practice that’s brand new to you. Never tried solitude? Carve out a day and give it a shot.

  • Serve up

o   One sure-fire way that seems to work for me is to try taking the focus off myself and to look for ways to serve others.

  • Clam up

o   Simply choose not to pray, but instead to silently listen for God’s still small voice.

Here’s my challenge for you. Honestly ask yourself if the spiritual disciplines you’ve been practicing have somewhere along the way slipped into something of a rut.

If things are a bit stagnant for you, try one of these “ups” and see if it doesn’t breathe life into your spiritual sails.

What ways have you found to prevent a spiritual discipline from becoming a spiritual rut?

the author

Scott Cochrane

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