Why Popular Spiritual Growth Methods don’t Work for You – and what to do about it

You want to grow in spiritual disciplines so you try all the popular methods. But for some reason, they just don’t seem to work for you. No matter how hard you try, you continue to struggle and stay stuck. What if I told you the problem wasn’t you … it’s the method you’re trying to force.

I recently retired my beloved prayer notebook. It was long overdue but I was hesitant to make the change. That notebook served me well over the years and I wasn’t sure I was ready to let it go. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t even using the notebook anymore. It was time to make a change.

I made the switch to a bullet journal for my prayers and anything faith-related and I love it! It is EXACTLY what I need right now. And I cannot believe that I waited so long to switch. Yes, my notebook was popular and worked for many people but the moment it stopped working for me I should have moved on.

Often, we stick with things because they are popular (right now) even when they don’t work for us. If that’s you, stay tuned. I’m going to share a few reasons why popular isn’t always the right choice.

It doesn’t take into account your season

Some of the popular methods for prayer and bible study take a lot of time and investment. That doesn’t always work when you are very busy.  That community bible study program may work great for your friend or neighbor, but those extra hours in the car and homework could be more than your schedule can handle.

It’s okay to say no to something that isn’t a good fit. Even if you’ve already started it or invested a lot of time and money into it.

You haven’t made it fit your needs

Sometimes a method works just fine once you take the time to adjust it to your needs. Just because the expert or influencer does something a certain way doesn’t mean you have to follow that example to a T. And that includes things you learn from me as well.

Don’t be afraid to pick and choose what works best for you. If it doesn’t work for you then it just doesn’t work.

Too advanced or too complicated

Listen, don’t try to do something that sounds fancy and super-christiany. You will burn yourself out before you see any benefits. If you spend all your time learning (or trying to learn) the method without any time to actually implement anything you won’t see any growth.

Advanced and complicated don’t necessarily mean better. Sometimes it’s just advanced and complicated.

You’re just adding more work

I am not a fan of busy work. I don’t give it to my boys for their homeschool lessons and I don’t take it on for myself. When you are considering a spiritual growth method make sure it’s not just busy work. If you are just doing work for the sake of doing work stop. The entire point is to grow closer to God.

You’re bored

Yes, sometimes you get bored with things. Even when it comes to your faith. Usually that’s a sign that it’s time to try something new or change things up a little bit. I do this all the time with my prayer life. When I find myself falling asleep, not paying attention or thinking of ways to avoid talking with God I change things up a little.

It doesn’t have to be anything big. Sometimes just a change in scenery will do the trick. Take your bible study supplies outside. Go for a prayer walk instead of praying at home.

Get creative!


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