Spiritual Direction

<<godly advice from fellow believers>>    

This is help given by a mature Christian to another less conversant in the ways of God, enabling that person to develop and come into a greater maturity in their Christian walk. It involves actively learning from others who are also on the pathway of life, yet with the agenda set by the Holy Spirit. Discernment is vital for the director who serves as a model and a trusted listener to guide by assisting the directee (or learner) to ascertain personal divine leading, through recognizing the activity of God in their life and responding appropriately so godly character results. 

This requires someone with whom there is a bonding and trust to enable a confidential sharing of the inner life.  It should be a supportive relationship

  Would this practice be of benefit to me?

with the aim to help another person grow in his or her response to the Spirit, and will involve sharing, reflection, questions, accountability and maybe challenging exercises/disciplines besides passing on insights gained.

Spiritual direction can be either formal or informal. Some people choose to work with a spiritual director on a regular basis to consciously focus on developing spiritual practices (called disciplines) while others may just participate in a tight knit, same-sex, small group where a few members who are serious about their walk with the Lord dare to be honest and open about their needs and struggles, helping each other into wholeness in Christ through sharing insights, giving support and holding each other accountable while maintaining confidences.

Jesus mentored the disciples, while Ananias ministered to the new Christian Paul, who later shepherded Timothy and Titus. However this concept can be taken to an unwholesome intensity as happens in the shepherding movement.

The fellowship of the local church is the context for spiritual direction and spiritual growth. This often happens informally through our interaction with

The Holy Spirit want to guide us directly

other believers as we help each other move in the right spiritual direction besides the teaching from the pastors and other leaders. The Holy Spirit who lives in each believer is the ultimate Spiritual Director (Rom 8:14; 1 Cor 6:19). While God works through our fellow believers, why not go directly to the source of divine enlightenment?

Although similar, mentoring in where the agenda is set by both the mentor and mentee and involves a particular context in which improvement is gained.

Counselling meanwhile is discussing problems through an awareness of what has happened in a safe confidential environment and with a rational mind working towards a positive resolution.

See also: accountability, counsel/counselling, guidance (divine), mentor, shepherding movement.

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