Appendix B

CROSSING OVER ♦ LIST OF SPIRITUAL HABITS

These spiritual practices are essential to the Christian life. You will need different ones at different times, but let them always be part of your experience. If you practice them consistently, you will learn to do them automatically.

It is important for you to understand that these habits are not rules. Do not turn them into rules. See them as a means to transformation. They position you before God so that he can work change into your life.

There are actually more activities that can be considered spiritual habits, but the ones listed here are widely recognized. I encourage you to go beyond the short descriptions I’ve provided and research them in more depth; then practice them. You will discover as you mature that many of these habits work together and that God will change your life and refashion you in the image of Christ.

 

Celebration—the act of being joyful and appreciative for blessings and the things one values; brings the ability to see small wonders and ordinary miracles, thankfulness, and perseverance

Flickr priest in prayerCentering—to briefly and prayerfully remember God in the midst of one’s day or experiences; brings peace, God’s presence, and thoughts of his providence

Chastity—to live sexually pure toward oneself and others by: maintaining proper sexual attitudes toward others, being predetermined to be chaste, avoiding temptation, being faithful to one’s spouse, and not indulging harmful lusts; brings purity, authentic relationship, cherishment, and sacrificial love

Confession—the act of admitting faults and sins and taking full responsibility for them; brings accountability, honesty, attention to one’s character, inner healing, and a desire to please God

Contemplation—the act of being still, internally and externally, and focusing on God; brings an exalted view of God, a correct attitude approaching him, sureness in our requests, and clarity hearing his voice

Fasting—to abstain from food, generally, or other comforts in an act of self-denial to seek God; brings heightened intimacy with God and clearer focus about our needs and what truly satisfies; acknowledges God as Sustainer of our lives, body, soul, and spirit

Fellowship—to live participatively with others by demonstrating acts of unity and kindness; brings freedom from self-centeredness, involvement with other’s concerns, ministry, and enjoyment of others

Frugality—to abstain from using money in unnecessary ways and spending it on unneeded things that gratify a need for glamour or status; brings simplicity, more financial freedom, gratefulness for one’s possessions, and freedom from other’s opinions

Giving—the act of generously giving away our wealth and possessions to others and to God to support their needs; brings freedom from greed, our consideration for other’s needs over our own, and obedience to God

Guidance—the practice of discerning God’s will in the counsel and consensus of godly people; brings consolation, accountability, clarification of purpose, and the ability to distinguish the voice of God

Flickr prayerHospitality—the act of welcoming others and caring for their needs; brings concern for others’ total well-being, ministry, ability to discern needs, and joy in serving others

Humility—the habit of living under God’s authority and not overestimating one’s importance; brings submission to God, freedom from vindication, the Lordship of Christ, and courteousness

Journaling—the reflective habit of writing and collecting our experiences about life and God; brings introspection, intimate conversation with God, the ability to see patterns in one’s life, and the ability to see God working in one’s life

Learning—the practice of acquiring knowledge about God and godliness; brings knowledge, trust in God, and friendship with God

Lectio Divina (“divine reading”)—to slowly, meditatively, and prayerfully read the scriptures and discern the Holy Spirit’s search of your heart with its words; brings vulnerability, illumination, and reliance on the words of God

Meditation—the habit of listening to God by filling our minds with his words; brings illumination of God’s character and word, spiritual strength, and purification from sin

Perseverance—the act of being steadfast under pressure; brings clarity of purpose, emotional fortitude, and spiritual stamina

Prayer—the practice of talking and communing with God; brings relationship with God and spiritual power

Sabbath—the habit of setting aside work and other pursuits for a period of time to rest and enjoy God and one another; brings personal replenishment, prioritization of personal affairs, and reverence for God, family, and friends

Sacrifice—the act of giving up cherished or needed possessions in service to God and others; brings reverence for God, trust in God with one’s life and for provision, and joyfulness in meeting a need

Secrecy—the habit of intentionally keeping quiet about information to prevent ourselves from gaining attention; brings humility, the right attitude toward our own good deeds, real love and concern for others, and preference for other’s happiness over one’s own

Flickr soup kitchenService—the act of being helpful to others; brings self-denial, humility, and ministry

Silence—to abstain from talk and noise for many purposes: to have quiet, to refrain from self-defense or speaking negatively, to wait on God to act or speak; brings inner rest, patience, maturity of character, and confidence in God

Simplicity—the practice of being content and free from the need of acquisition; brings enjoyment of what we possess, the elimination of waste, freedom from the need to be important, gratefulness, and the embrace of life’s beauty

Slowing—the habit of slowing down and forcing oneself to wait; brings freedom from hurry, patience, focus, and consideration for others

Solitude—to withdraw from others to give time to inner reflection; brings unwinding, detox from life cares, resolution, contentment, and companionship with God

Stewardship—the practice of caring for things that belong to others; brings accountability and responsibility, respect for other persons and their possessions, and an appreciation of resources

Study—the practice of researching the scriptures to gain a fuller knowledge about God and his will; brings sanctification, faith, assurance, and deep knowledge and insight

Submission—the practice of denying oneself; brings freedom from being controlling, surrender, and the appreciation of other’s and their contributions

Tithing—the habit of giving ten percent of one’s monetary income to God; brings God’s lordship, devotion to God and ministry, and faith

Worship—the act of bringing our whole selves before God to adore him; brings reverence, intimacy, transparency, and freedom from distraction

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