For the purposes to which I believe God has called me, I engage in both formal and informal forms of spiritual soul care, including friendship, counsel, and direction.
We are each being conformed to an image: either the image of Christ or the image of the world. Spiritual formation is the life-long process of being conformed and transformed by the Holy Spirit to more rightly reflect Jesus Christ for God’s glory. It is the inward change of the heart so that outward attitudes and actions mirror Jesus Christ. Spiritual Formation is cooperating with God and re-ordering one’s life under God, with God, and for God. It is surrender to God at work by the Holy Spirit within one’s spirit.
A practice that supports and encourages one’s transformation by God is soul care; which includes spiritual friendship, spiritual counsel and spiritual direction. Thoughtful and careful attention to the inner being of the individual is the premise of soul care. The purpose of soul care is to walk alongside and guide other spiritually hungry souls into a deeper relationship with the living God. Attention must be given to the spiritual being of the human person as God’s creation, for it is our spirit which most directly communes with the Spirit of God (John 4:24). Thus, being sensitive to the movements of the Holy Spirit and coming alongside individuals on the spiritual journey are the primary components of the ministry of soul care. The focal point uniquely spotlights the individual’s relationship to God; helping them attend to God’s activity in their life.
Spiritual friendship exemplifies informal relationships. These bonds are encouraging and stimulating spiritually. A distinctive of this form of soul care is the mutuality of the relationship. When engaged in spiritual friendship, faith journeys are shared and those involved receive mutual support for growing with Jesus.
Spiritual counsel differs from spiritual friendship in that it often does not have the longevity of the relationship enjoyed within the friendship. The guidance here is more focused upon a particular spiritual issue, rather than just living life. Soul care of this manner tends to be also informal in structure as in spiritual friendship.
Biblical and practical counsel for your ministry, classroom, and family strengthens you for service to God and growth in Him. Contact the Soulcare Anchoress.