24 – Spiritual Formation — Intention on the Spiritual Journey

In preparation for a retreat I recently attended I read Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.  He defines spiritual formation as “a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others” (p 15).  He goes on to add, “There can be no wholeness in the image of Christ which is not incarnate in our relationships with others, both in the body of Christ and in the world” (p 17}.

Thinking about Mulholland’s description of spiritual formation along side Foster’s seeing spiritual disciplines as inward, outward and corporate and combined with Willard’s thoughts on disciplines of abstinence and engagement, should help us not to see formation and disciplines as a private matter concerned with only “my personal relationship to God” and “my personal growth.”

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