Spiritual Disciplines Allow us to Recieve
In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus affirms that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. Yet, if you constantly try to serve others, you may find yourself getting burned out. The problem, it seems, is that when we serve others, it is meant to come from the overflow of God’s grace in our lives. So if we aren’t taking the time to fill up on God’s grace, we’ll find serving others a chore rather than a joy. This begs the question: how do we fill up on God’s grace? The answer lies in Spiritual Disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines put us in a posture to receive from God. But since our culture tells us to be always on the go, they can feel unnatural. But by spending time with Jesus, we are better equipped to serve our neighbour. There are many disciplines (for a more comprehensive list, I would recommend Richard Foster’s Book Celebration of Discipline) but let’s focus on three
Prayer is an authentic conversation with God. In prayer we acknowledge God’s provision, ask for his help, seek his guidance. It can also be a place where we silently attend to his presence with us.
The scriptures hold the words of our Lord and the story of God and his people. When we read through the whole bible, we ground ourselves in the story of God’s people. When we study sections, we train ourselves to think theologically. And when we meditate on a few verses, we open ourselves up to receive encouragement and guidance from God.
Sabbath is a chance to set aside our work and declare our trust in God by our actions. On Sabbath, we set aside the things we feel we have to do (and our anxieties about them) and leave them in God’s hands. It’s a way of acknowledging that God is a gracious giver. He gives us time and space for rest, relaxation and recreation.
When we engage in Spiritual Disciplines we allow God to fill us up, so that we can serve those around us without burnout and resentment.