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.


  1. Sometimes I hate how people describe a "quiet time" with God by making it at a certain time in the day and requiring certain elements. Many times as Christians we get caught up in the "daily activities" of the Christian life, we forget what Christianity is all about. It is a relationship with God; it is about His love for us and His desire to be with us forever. My quiet time with God may not be in the morning and may not even include Scripture reading, but if I coming to God honestly and truly seeking Him, He will meet with me. I just have to be willing to cultivate that relationship with him.

  2. I remember discussing this in class. Didn't the instructor point out that the peole of Israel and the early Christians would memorize important spiritual texts such as the Bible and pass them down orally? How much better equipped they were then, for we have God's word in our hands, but they had itin their minds, their hearts, and on their lips! God can reveal himself at many times and in various ways, but he has chosen to make himself known through scripture and such "special revelation" deserves special attention. If the Bible is not available to someone, they may still draw near to God, but we who have it should not neglect it. Also, using Biblical principals in counsseling is great, but if the listener doesn't know the source of these truths then the message is more likely to get distorted, as in the game "telephone". Give your clients scriptur references so they know where to find the truth when they can no longer remember what you told them.


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