Sunday, February 27, 2011
Contemporary Quiet Time and Spiritual Formation
Many devout Christians understand the importance of spiritual disciplines in spiritual formation. More precisely, Quiet Time seems to be one of the most encouraged or discussed of the spiritual disciplines. This term is used often in Christian Circles in order to describe a time of devotion with God which will most likely include reading a passage from the Bible and praying. The following link (click here for access) describes what is commonly accepted the structure of a quiet time, or at least most practiced by many sincere believers.
In class we have discussed how the Bible is one of the main avenues in which God gives us more specific insight into who He is and how He operates. Also, it is generally accepted that reading God's Word regularly is paramount to knowing God and growing spiritually. Moreover, in many circumstances many of us might be inclined to determine the consistency of a person's spirituality or, in counseling settings, the spiritual depth of a Christian therapeutic intervention based on how many Scripture verses are employed.
I cannot help but wonder if an individual can grow spiritually even if he did not do his quiet time, at least not in the understanding that we have nowadays of that the quiet time is?! In the same way I'm wondering if a Christian Counselor can still be very effective in integrating Scripture without opening the Bible a single time in a counseling session, or referencing any particular verse. I must also wonder, how did the early Christians grow spiritually although they might not have had a daily quiet time as we strive to have nowadays. Some of them must have had some copies of the Torah or some of the writings of the Apostles, but I wonder if they approached them as we approach it today in our Quiet Times. Also, i must wonder how had Christians across centuries been able to grow spiritually since they did not have a personal copy of God's Word for daily reading. How did they do their quiet time? Particularly when in many communities the only person to have a Bible was the Priest and even that copy was in a language that was unknown to the common man. I have a sensing that we often believe that Spiritual Growth and Spiritual Formation was the same throughout history as it is now. Claiming that would certainly be absurd, but we do it so often anyways.