I genuinely enjoyed class this week. Dr. Luder Whitlock Jr. was our professor this week and sadly, was our last guest professor for this year. We read his book The Spiritual Quest in preparation for his topic, spiritual formation. He made it very clear from the beginning that his desire was for us to understand completely what he taught us and that what he taught was beneficial to us.
Class began differently than any other of our classes have; it began with a worksheet. This worksheet had questions on it such as, how do you get close to God, how do you love God, how do you know if you love God and how should you read the Bible to grow spiritually? I have to be honest and say this worksheet threw a lot of us a curveball! Dr. Whitlock’s purpose in giving us this worksheet was to gauge where we were and with his very last question, what do you want to learn this week, be sure that what he taught on was important to us. I really appreciated his desire to teach on something we wanted to really wanted to learn about. So we began to tackle the big question, how do you grow spiritually?
First you have to define what it is to be growing spiritually. We decided that to grow spiritually is to reflect the image of God more and more. However, you must first know what is God like. What attributes does he have? Some are that he is loving, merciful, eternal, holy and sovereign along with many more. The qualities of God fall into two different categories: communicable and non-communicable. This sounds technical
but it really isn’t. A communicable trait is simply one that we can work toward and is possible for us to attain, like love, and a non-communicable trait is one that we can never have, such as being infinite. So now you know what to work for, but how and why? The reason growing spiritually is so important is to glorify God, to love God and to convert others. The way I see this is that growing spiritually is the way of life of a Christian that is really after God’s heart. Ironically, through striving to be more like God our lives become fulfilling, good and beautiful.
So, how do we grow spiritually? First we identified God’s qualities and decided which are communicable, or ones we can work toward, and now comes the part that most people are familiar with which are the means. Means are things such as reading the Bible, worship, prayer, fasting and
anything else you can think of that can help you toward your set attribute. For example, if I wanted to grow spiritually and I was focusing on God’s love I would read my Bible to learn about how God loves (the life of Jesus Christ) and then I would apply that and practice that in my relationships.
Overall, this week of spiritual formation with Dr. Whitlock was very impacting in that it clearly laid out to us how a genuine Christian should live. It’s all about being one after God’s own heart and from that deep love, comes what you do, not vice versa. Love God and let it lead you into becoming more like him.
People should see you and say, “Their God must be a good God.”
Class of 2011