December 2018

25 Ways to Improve Your Spiritual Health

Written by Diana Durie, the Communications Director at the Georgia United Methodist Foundation

So many New Year’s resolutions deal with trying to become physically healthy, but being mentally healthy is just as important, if not more so. Below are 25 ways you can improve your spiritual health in 2019.

  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 to 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. Make a list. 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 SILENT RETREAT. Sign up for a silent retreat so you can connect deeply to God through prayer, meditation, and self-reflection. If you can’t get away, get into the practice of rising early every day to spend time alone with God.
  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 Bible study program.
  12. JOIN A SMALL GROUP. Small groups 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. Invite someone to worship with you or attend a special church-related event.
  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, start a dinner club ministry or sit next to someone you don’t know.
  16. VIEW LIFE THROUGH A SPIRITUAL LENS. Be aware of everything around you. Invite God to give you spiritual eyes to see the glory and majesty of His creation.
  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. Take them out to eat or 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. Hunger impacts people of all ages. Commit to 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 UNIQUE GIFTS TO MAKE CHURCH MINISTRIES MORE EFFECTIVE. Can you teach Sunday school? Can you serve on a committee? Can you be part of the prayer ministry? Can you greet visitors? If you need help identifying your God-given gifts, take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment at www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment.
  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 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.

This article was originally published in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s Winter 2019 Faith & Money newsletter. Thank you so much to GUMF for allowing us to share their article!