Spiritual Development Plan
Written by Chant’a Collier
Goals are important for spiritual growth. To prepare for the spring holy days, I am developing a plan to help me grow, overcome and examine myself.
This is the time of the year that my company releases performance reviews of its employees for the previous year. The company’s leaders use the results of these reviews to award annual incentive bonuses to employees.
Throughout the year I complete my portion of my professional development plan to evaluate my progress towards my professional goals. It has made me consider something I should put into practice in my spiritual life: a spiritual development plan.
Goals are important to any serious endeavor we undertake: personal, professional and especially spiritual. “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going, it’s as simple as that,” says Earl Nightingale, an American motivational speaker.
As I began the process of self-evaluation before the Passover this year, I decided to borrow four words my company uses—communicate, educate, demonstrate and celebrate—to help me set my goals, assess my progress and compare the results from the prior year.
My company constantly communicates with its employees through emails, team meetings and quarterly meetings that update us by comparing our actual results with our company goals. Our company goals are placed in designated areas as reminders of our objectives.
I decided to put my spiritual goals in written form and place them in an area I commonly use to remind me daily of them.
I realized prayer would be critical in this journey. David realized his need for God’s help, praying: “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation” (Psalm 5:1). Likewise, I decided to communicate my spiritual goals to God and ask for His help to fulfill them. I also shared my goals with a trusted friend who could hold me accountable.
My company also gives us tools to help us meet our objectives. Similarly, God has also provided an important tool to help us accomplish our spiritual goals: the Bible. I have also made use of the Life, Hope & Truth website. It contains many helpful resources to guide me and keep me on track. Proverbs 2:1-5 tells us: “My son [or daughter], if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
I plan to look in the Bible to see what it says about my specific goals. Writing down those scriptures and meditating on them will help me keep them in the forefront of my mind. I plan to search for those in the Bible who had experiences that relate to my goals in order to learn lessons of what to do and what not to do. I will also ask wise friends for advice and tips on how they accomplished their goals.
With my plans of communication and education in place, I will have to step out in faith and actually act on my goals. I understand that this is not going to be easy, and results will not come immediately. Satan will put roadblocks and trials in front of me and will attempt to discourage me. I must remember that God has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). James 1:25 reminds us: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
While I must repent of sins, of course, my plan is to not fixate on my failures, but learn from them. I will try to recognize small successes through daily self-examination and thank God for His help. I can also share my small victories with the person I shared my goals with.
Annually, before the Passover, I will examine what I wrote down the previous year and compare it with where I am. Then I will write down my new goals. Of course, I will continue working on the old ones that are still works in progress. This process should never end as we journey towards the Kingdom of God.
While I am working on my personal spiritual development plan, I would like to extend two invitations to my Church family:
1. If you see me during the course of the year, ask me how I am doing.
2. Join me in your own spiritual development plan, and let’s walk toward the Kingdom together.
Meeting my professional goals allowed me to participate in my company’s success in the form of a bonus. Meeting my spiritual goals allows me to anticipate something far greater: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
Chant’a Collier attends the Atlanta, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, with her husband, Rodney.