10 Reasons to Get a Spiritual Director

06/08/2016 07:08 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2016

If you want to grow in your faith journey and spiritual life, you might consider getting a spiritual director. Spiritual directors are dedicated to guiding people in the spiritual journey, and helping them explore matters of the soul, faith, and God. Spiritual direction is a practice found in many faith traditions.

For anyone actively seeking and traveling the spiritual journey, here are 10 reasons to get a spiritual director. 

1. Explore and interpret your experiences of God.

You may have experiences and encounters with God that you want to process and sort through. In relationship with a spiritual director, you are free to talk about your experiences of God without judgement or criticism. As questions or tensions arise, your spiritual director will listen and prayerfully help you make sense of those experiences.

2. Integrate spirituality and practices in your daily life.

We can make space for spiritual formation through practices like sabbath, prayer, self-care, meditation, retreat, reflection, and creative expression. If you’re seeking to cultivate spiritual practices in your life, a spiritual director can help you. Your spiritual director will guide you in taking practical steps to integrate spirituality in your day-to-day living.

3. Deepen your relationship with God.

A spiritual director understands that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with God. The primary intent of a spiritual director is to guide you in having a deepening intimacy with God. Together with your spiritual director, you will explore God’s presence, voice, and activity in your life. Through prayer, conversation, listening, and asking questions, your spiritual director can help you respond to God and take steps to further your relationship with him.

4. Make important decisions or changes.

We all have moments or seasons of needing to make significant decisions. Big decisions are opportunities to consider our options, values, and desires. Your spiritual director will work alongside you to discern and evaluate decisions, and move forward with wisdom.

5. Discover your purpose and calling in life.

Have you wondered if you’re living out your true purpose and calling? When we find our unique purpose in life, our identity intersects with our mission, and we experience profound contentment and joy. A spiritual director will help you explore and make space for your passions, talents, and God-given calling.

6. Share joys, fears, desires, and struggles in a safe environment.

There is a significant human experience that occurs when we can name our deepest desires and struggles in the presence of another person. Our soul has space to be seen and heard. In relationship with a spiritual director, you will have a safe place to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. Your spiritual director will listen and ask questions, not to judge or problem solve, but to be present with you in your experiences.

7. Spiritually heal from past wounds and hurts.

There may be wounds from your past that continue to have a negative effect on you. Some wounds have spiritual roots, and therefore need spiritual remedies. A spiritual director can guide you into experiences with God of forgiveness, confession, and inner healing.

8. Receive the encouragement, guidance, and companionship you need.

In any area of life that we want to mature and grow, we need mentors and coaches who support us. Someone who is a few steps ahead can give us the wisdom and guidance we need. Your spiritual director will encourage, support, and give you companionship in your pursuit of spiritual growth.

You might desire to grow spiritually, but feel like you’re stuck and unable to move ahead. Inner barriers and external circumstances may be getting in the way of your growth. A spiritual director can help identify the reasons for your “spiritual plateau,” and offer solutions and tools to get you into a place of moving forward in your spiritual journey.

10. Become who you were designed to be.

Imagine a life of contentment, freedom, and joy. Imagine your body, mind, and spirit being integrated with the Divine Being who created you. Imagine discovering your purpose, having a clearer sense of the meaning of life, and developing more love for God and others. A spiritual director will guide you into these experiences with God, allowing you become the person you were designed to be.

Getting a spiritual director can be a significant investment in your spiritual growth and relationship with God.

Learn more about what a spiritual director does at Spiritual Journey.

Larissa Marks is a spiritual director, ministry planter, writer, and Director of Spiritual Formation at Bluewater Mission Church in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is the creator of Spiritual Journey. Sign up for her weekly Spiritual Journey notes for guidance sent to your inbox. You can also find her at her personal blog The Larissa Monologues. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband and three kids. Want to connect with Larissa? Find her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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