Nobody would argue with the fact that every committed Christian attempts to keep enhancing his/her spiritual level. It is especially important for a future pastor as ministry requires a wide range of responsibilities towards God and community. Having conducted a personal spiritual assessment, I should develop a plan for my future spiritual growth since it is essential for my faith, professional skills and intellectual outlooks. Therefore, the current paper presents my plan for spiritual growth and justifies the choice of the activities and practices presupposed by the preceding spiritual assessment. In such a way, the following plan describes two spiritual discipline practices for a compulsory appliance to my spiritual advancement. Then, the plan outlines activities aimed at addressing my strongest temptations and sins because I have to eliminate them and move forward towards the divine wisdom. Likewise, the plan introduces my moral fences, which will guard me against my blind spots and weaknesses.
Spiritual Discipline Practice
Among a variety of spiritual practices, I decided to focus on Evangelism. It is related to theology directly so that I will be able to fill certain gaps in my knowledge. Actually, I am planning to speak to different people about God, His Son, and The Holy Spirit. It will help me learn the world around. Within the first week of my practice, I will speak to local pastors only as I would like to gain more knowledge and feel more comfortable with people, who know about God more than I do. During the second week I will start speaking to my family and relatives, because I want to share my thoughts about God with them. The third week is planned to be the most difficult as I will speak to strangers and acquaintances. This implies a big challenge as well as a great benefit for me: I should use my ministry skills and I will be able to learn the world around better at the same time. Overall, I will learn about God because the world is a result of God’s creative action. Talking about God and learning Him throughout the surrounding world will enhance not only my spiritual growth but also my skills for ministry. That is why I chose Evangelism practice as it does not limit me in sources of knowledge. In other words, I would like to place the emphasis on the fact that the more people I talk to about God the better my spiritual growth will be. Needless to say, this is not the only spiritual practice that I am planning to apply to my spiritual growth.
My second spiritual discipline practice is a prayer intake. Prayer is commonly recognized as a human’s speech to God. Therefore, I would like to communicate with God in such a way. Namely, I want to make this communication as private as possible because I need to share all my anxieties and joys with God. It will help me to know myself and God better. As a result, I will reveal my potential competences and rely heavily on God’s wisdom. I should mention that I pray to God on a regular basis as any other faithful Christian; however, I would like to make my prayers more sacred and devoted so that I can share all my thoughts with God as I trust in Him. It will motivate me to cope with my blind spots, temptations and sins. Still, I would like to mention that I will support my prayer intake with reading related parts of Scripture in order to clearly understand the essence of the prayer. That is why the first week of my practice will be related to studying the Scripture. I will spend the second week praying to God until I learn how to speak to Him with an open heart. Hence, the third week will be devoted to praying in a newly improved way. One may argue that a form of prayer does not matter; however, I should admit that sincerity of prayers is extremely important to my faith and ministry skills.
With regard to my temptation to eating chocolate excessively, I consider the following activities to be effective for elimination of this sinful habit. I will try my best to eat less chocolate just owing to the capacity of my will. In consequence, I am planning to put myself on a diet, which will optimize my daily meals and include healthy food. Dieting only is not sufficient which is why it is reasonable to start doing some sport, especially morning exercising and jogging. As for the spiritual perspective, I decided to focus on learning the related part of the Scripture in order to realize all consequences of gluttony. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that the stronger my faith gets the faster I will cope with my temptations. Therefore, I will pray to God and ask Him to give me enough strength and patience for overcoming the temptation.
As for my sin of laziness, I am planning to address it in the following way. First, I will organize my daily schedule so that I should follow a particular sequence of activities in order not to get tired earlier than it is planned. Besides that, I will also devote much time to reading the Bible verses about this sin so that my determination to address that will become stronger. Apart from that, I will take rest when it is really needed. I can explain it by the fact that an individual has to rest sufficiently for a further productive performance. Hence, taking rest will give me more strength and enthusiasm to keep working hard. All these activities will not work without my prayer to God as His help is the most considerable. I am convinced that He will hear me and will help me because I want to eliminate my sins and temptations in order to get closer to Him.
Guarding Against Blind Spots
For the purpose of defensing myself from temptations and enhancing of my blind spots, I will have to build several moral fences suggested by James McDonald. The moral fences will separate me from sinful intentions. In such a way, I will substitute chocolate with fruits in my daily meals. It will make me feel healthier, and I will be capable of preserving myself from gluttony. Instead, I will eat chocolate at holidays only as I consider this food to be quite special for a daily consumption. I would like to take some course on dieting discipline for the reason of convincing myself that chocolate is unhealthy item of food, especially for daily meals. Eventually, going to gym and morning jogging will make me sprightlier and willing to keep working mentally. There is no need to explain that a good physical shape reflects on the cognitive performance of the individual which is why I have to start going in for some basic sports. Again, I would like to put the emphasis on my reliance on God as I will pray to Him asking for strength and determination for guarding myself against my blind spots.
By the same token, I will address my panic in stressful situation. The first moral fence will be focusing on a trouble-free environment that I will arrange at my workplace and at home. This is not escaping from daily problems but guarding me against the deadly sin of despondency. In prayer to God, I will find the confidence to cope with routine problems, but I will make a big effort to focus on positive aspects of life. The Holy Spirit controls humans throughout joy, love, kindness, devotion, empathy, etc. Thus, my second moral fence will consist of these feelings, which is why I prefer to focus on them rather than on negative emotions even though I have to deal with my daily issues.
In conclusion, I would like to admit that this paper has helped me to develop my further spiritual growth. I have chosen two spiritual discipline practices that are Evangelism and prayer intake. Then, I have planned how I will cope with my sins and temptations in order to become closer to Lord. Consequently, I have given an account on strategies regarding guarding myself against blind spots and weaknesses that I possess. Overall, the plan of my spiritual growth has been successfully designed so that I feel confident that I will fulfill all my aims with the help of God. These activities are aimed not only at my spiritual advancements but also at ministry skills and widening of my intellectual outlooks.