Improving Your Spiritual Health

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Do you yearn for a deeper connection with God? Do you need a timeout from the hustle and bustle and worries of this world? Do you feel God is calling you to improve your spiritual well-being? Here are 31 ways to make your spiritual health a top priority in 2021!

1. PICK A THEME WORD FOR THE YEAR. Perhaps your word is love; or holiness; or forgiveness; or hope; or spirituality. Choose your word, meditate on it each day, and pursue it.

2. ADD LISTENING TIME TO YOUR PRAYER TIME. Pray for discernment, and then spend a few moments actively listening for God’s reply to your prayers.

3. READ THE BIBLE DAILY. Commit to a daily Bible reading plan. Read a book of the Bible that you have never immersed yourself in before, and ask God to speak to you through it. Read about one of Jesus’ disciples and choose two attributes of their life that you want to emulate.

4. READ PSALMS DAILY. When you read Psalms slowly and out loud a little each day, it will amaze you how similar your concerns, laments, petitions, and praises are like those of the psalmist.

5. LISTEN TO SPIRITUAL PODCASTS AND MUSIC. Expand your spiritual horizons by listening to faith-based podcasts and music while driving or doing activities at home.

6. ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU A GRATEFUL HEART. Thank God daily for the many blessings He has given you like clothing, shelter, and food. Be quick to express appreciation to your friends, family, and people you encounter.

7. LET GO AND LET GOD. Is there a bad habit you need to break or something you need to let go of? Embrace Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

8. ATTEND A RETREAT. Sign up for an online or in-person retreat so you can connect deeply to God through prayer, meditation, and self-reflection.

9. MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE. Memorize one Bible verse a week. Put reminders on your bathroom mirror, in your kitchen, or on the dashboard of your car.

10. START A PRAYER JOURNAL. Keep a journal of praises, prayer requests, and answered prayer as a reminder of how God is at work in your life.

11. JOIN A BIBLE STUDY. Deepen your faith through a short- or long-term online or in-person Bible study program.

12. JOIN A SMALL GROUP. Small groups help you foster a closer relationship with God and each other through weekly Bible study, prayer time, service opportunities, and fellowship.

13. SEEK FORGIVENESS. Find someone you need to forgive and ask them to forgive you. Forgiveness can transform relationships. You will be amazed at how liberating it can be for you to forgive.

14. SHARE YOUR FAITH. Look for opportunities to tell someone about Jesus.

15. SHARE YOUR WELCOMING SPIRIT. Do you love people? Do you have the gift of hospitality? Mentor new members into the life of the church by serving on the welcoming committee or as a greeter at your church.

16. STUDY THE NAMES OF GOD. Abba. Ancient of Days. Elohim. Holy One. I Am. Prince of Peace. Wonderful Counselor. When you study the names of God and begin to  understand the awe-inspiring attributes of His character, it will deepen your relationship and ability to trust in Him, the one true God.

17. LISTEN MORE. James 1:19 provides a wonderful reminder that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

18. SHINE YOUR CHRISTIAN LIGHT. Be more considerate of the people around you. Take a deep breath before you criticize, complain, or act rudely. Do more to help other people. Be a better friend. Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly.

19. ALLEVIATE LONELINESS. Each week, do one act of kindness to help alleviate loneliness. Visit someone in a nursing home. Call a friend or relative. Play a game with a child.

20. LIFT THE SPIRITS OF AN ELDERLY PERSON. Create time in your schedule to help an elderly person. Bring them a meal. Change their fire alarm batteries or light bulbs. Shovel their driveway, mow their lawn, rake their leaves, or take out their trash.

21. COMMIT TO A FEEDING MINISTRY. Food insecurity impacts people of all ages. Commit to donating food, packing lunches, volunteering at a food distribution site, or serving meals at a homeless shelter.

22. TURN A FAVORITE PASTIME INTO A MINISTRY. If you love to quilt or knit, make prayer blankets. If you enjoy cooking, surprise a friend with a meal. If your passion is reading, help out in an after-school program. We are all gifted. Sharing our gifts brings great joy.

23. USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Need help identifying your spiritual gifts? Take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/spiritual-gifts-inventory/en. Then develop a plan for using your spiritual gifts for God’s glory.

24. SUPPORT CHURCH MISSIONS. God calls each one of us to participate in the mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Go on a mission trip, volunteer to serve on a missions committee, or donate to support a missionary or a missions outreach ministry at your church.

25. REFLECT THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT. Slow down! Be intentional every day about reflecting the fruits of the Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

26. SPEND QUIET TIME WITH GOD. Get into the practice of rising early every day to spend time alone with God before you become consumed by the busyness of the day.

27. READ DAILY DEVOTIONS. Read a daily devotion either by yourself or with your spouse or friend. Keep a notepad handy and write down one or two words that stand out. Then take time to reflect on or discuss the meaning of the devotion.

28. ENTER INTO AN ATTITUDE OF EXPECTATION. Every time you think about church or walk into church, enter into an attitude of expectation that God is going to do mighty works.

29. MARVEL AT GOD’S MAJESTY. Whether it’s a puppy playing tug-of-war, geese flying in formation, a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, or a sunset stretching endlessly across the sky, take time every day to admire God’s creation.

30. LOOK FOR GOD MOMENTS. Ask yourself, “Where did I see God today? How did God light the way? How did God speak to me through His word, His people, or circumstances?” Reflect on these God moments especially when something good or meaningful has happened.

31. VIEW LIFE THROUGH A SPIRITUAL LENS. Be aware of everything around you. Ask God to give you ears to hear, spiritual eyes to see, and a mind to understand all that God has to teach you.