4 questions to consider when reviewing your spirituality
Sadly, the Bible doesn’t have a chapter called “7 simple ways to have a relationship with God.” These answers are actually spread all over, so it can be difficult to know what advice to follow.
As Christians, we should strive to have an active, beautiful, and fulfilling relationship with God; however sin often stands in the way. What can we do to draw closer to God while moving away from our mistakes and intentional sins? Here are some questions we should ask when deepening our relationship with Jesus.
How is my prayer life?
Jon Ciccarelli, a pastor in California, says that “Prayer is not something you do, it is Someone you’re with.” Prayer needs to be a regular occurrence in the life of a Christian. Throughout Scripture, prayer was a continuous bonding experience with God for Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, as well as Jesus and the apostles. If you feel like your relationship with God is not evolving or is becoming challenging, try praying––because prayer is a “with” experience.
What does Scripture do for me?
Doug Barahona, a sophomore religion major, says in reference to the Bible, “This book is not just informational, it's transformational.” God is not an abstract spirit in heaven who sent a book of knowledge and stories for us to memorize and use as the basis for sermons. On the contrary, He engaged the lives of people to write the books that make up the Bible. The Bible is written by real people with real struggles––God speaks through their writings because their writings are His thoughts and ideals. If you want God to speak to you, go to His word. You will find stories and teachings that apply to your present situation and in the process be transformed.
Do I allow my community to affect me?
If you are reading this you are human. If you are human you are relational. People need people. You might be more introverted than extroverted, but your introversion still doesn’t keep you from maintaining the vital relationships that are essential to your humanity. As Christians; church, Bible studies, and friend groups are wonderful and necessary for developing character. Community says, “You’re struggling with that? Me too.” The whole point of church is to remind us that we weren’t made to go through life on our own.
Am I giving as much as I’m receiving?
It is easy to receive blessings from God, physically and spiritually, and not return the favor. We often fall into the trap of hoarding good things and holding on to them tightly. Jesus spoke of holding on to our possessions loosely. The reason why we need to give is because it’s part of our framework as human beings––we are designed to give. Remember to bless abundantly. Next time you’re downtown and you see a homeless person, don’t hesitate to offer food or any other help. Giving might just be the most fulfilling experience in life.
Everyone draws near to God in different ways. There’s no cookie cutter way to do it, but there are some things that do help. Prayer, Scripture, community and giving are four of the most helpful tools in becoming intimate with God.
Abner is a sophomore studying theology.