Recap and Introduction
How does God change us into being his Beloved? By his Spirit-Life in us (God’s grace) that works with our faith responses – itself a work of grace – via spiritual practices (our effort). The regular practice of spiritual disciplines is not easy. The devil tricks and traps us to stop us doing them. Our own biggest ‘enemy’ is lifestyle. WE choose our lifestyles, no matter how we explain or excuse it. We are as busy as WE choose! The bottom line is: WE are responsible for our own spiritual growth, no one else. But we can’t do it on our own. We need each other in supportive accountability. Remember “The Golden Triangle of Transformation”? I added “community accountability” to Dallas Willard’s diagram: the Spirit transforms us into Christ’s mind and character via our planned and unplanned disciplines, as we experience and practice them in supportive community.
Proposal for Support & Accountability
I want to cite two examples of being very intentional about one’s spiritual formation and growth. John Wesley and his “Holy Clubs” met weekly for prayer and self-examination, bible study and charity work – up to 15 people per group, later called “Classes”. When they met they asked each other: “how is it with your soul?” They kept each other accountable to the “methods”(spiritual practices) of growth. That is why they became “Methodists”. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox developed the practice of “spiritual direction”, and also “spiritual companions”. The latter was for mutual care and accountability in their spiritual formation. Continue reading Community Accountability and Support in Spiritual Practices