A Good Word: Spiritual Formation is Not a Technique



“For those of us seriously engaged in spiritual formation, there is a strong temptation to see spiritual formation as a technique that we do. We may even be seeing spiritual formation as something we do to revive a burned-out ministry. We may be seeing spiritual formation as something we do to replace worn-out methods of devotion or worship. How often do we see worship as something we do to get right with God, instead of an offering of ourselves in worship through which God can draw us into the depths of his loving presence. This functional dynamic threads its way throughout our lives, including our ‘spiritual’ activities.” (M Robert Mulholland, Jr. Shaped by the Word. Nashville, TN: The Upper Room, 1985, p. 87.)

Wayne Anderson, one of the founders of The Leadership Institute, called the way of thinking Mulholland is describing here as “Do Do Theology.” In what ways are you tempted to see prayer as something you do more than Someone you are with in loving relationship? How might God be wanting you to receive the gift of His life rather than trying to “make it happen?”

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