Updated: Oct 2, 2021
As a result of an unfortunate glitch, this is a repost of the blog brought to you by Life Coach & Podcaster, Alicia Davis, on August 9, 2021. Let’s welcome her words of wisdom as she presents her insight on growing spiritual muscles.
"I’ve recommitted to reading my scriptures and praying every day. I feel closer to God and Christ when I do. I want to have a better relationship with them.” Sound familiar?
My pursuit of spiritual strength involved countless moments like this that spanned years, decades even. I could see my character flaw—always starting, stopping, and restarting goals. I was inconsistent and had a hard time committing and following through. I was easily distracted.
Or my perspective could shift. I could view the attempts as evidence that I was trying— not afraid to admit when I’d fallen short. I could credit myself with resilience in my quest for spiritual strength. I was consistent at trying again.
Developing strength requires a commitment of time and consistency. Weightlifting inconsistently will never build muscle and our spiritual muscles follow suit. So how do we develop the consistency required to pump up our spirituality? We must do the hard work to discover why we’re inconsistent and that begins with our thoughts.
Maybe you believe it’s hard to be consistent. Maybe you believe it’s easy to get distracted. Maybe you believe consistency squelches your spontaneity. Maybe you’re avoiding the discomfort of creating a new routine, or a schedule. Growth, of any kind, requires discomfort, and a willingness to embrace the discomfort to reach your goal.
Growing spiritual muscles requires actions that push us out of our comfort zone. We need to read from scripture when we’re tired at the end of the day. It means going to church when we’d sometimes rather stay in bed and sleep a little longer. The work of growing spiritual muscles doesn’t require weight lifting, or long cross-country runs. But it does require a willingness to face mental and emotional hurdles, like what do we think and feel when we could opt out of our commitment to certain actions to grow spiritual muscles? Hesitancy to commit when we know we may not be consistent, fear of failure (why start at if I can’t make it to the finish line). And the biggest hurdle of all is our natural tendency to avoid discomfort.
In the pursuit of spiritual strength, it’s easy to look at the list of things we could do. Pray earnestly, feast on the words of Christ, attend church, serve others, etc. What happens when we don’t feel like doing those things? Or when we lose motivation, or get tired and want to skip a day or a week? Or go on vacation and forget? The key to developing spiritual strength isn’t on the to-do list. We already know what to do. The key is what we choose to think when we’re faced with the discomfort and challenges the doing brings.
How we choose to think about the process of developing spiritual strength. We are willing to embrace discomfort, consistency. What if one of the hard things about developing spiritual strength
Why do people lift weights, train for triathlons, or hike Mt. Everest? They see the physical and mental benefits that both the accomplishment and the training will give them. And they are willing to pay the price to get there. They’re willing to experience pain bench pressing more than they did yesterday. They’re willing to face long, leg-burning runs. And they’re willing to possibly get injured, heal, and start again.
If the deity-based connection to strength and power is our goal, we can remember—when we’ve committed to studying the scriptures daily and it’s 11:35 pm and we’re exhausted —this is exactly what I signed up for. This is my opportunity. I’ve already decided I’m willing to do the hard work to grow my spiritual muscles. I’ve got this.
-From the Fire Ring Blog, Vol. 1, No. 15
Where can you find more of Alicia?
Podcast: "7 Minute Sunshine"