Centuries ago, Solomon wrote, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” The goal of spiritual direction is to draw out the depths of a person’s heart so that they can more clearly see themselves, others, and God. Or as Jesus once put it, “To take the plank out of your eye so that you can see more clearly.”
While there are certainly some similarities between spiritual direction and, say, life-coaching or counseling, there are some important distinctions too. Life-coaching might be aimed more at goal-setting and reshaping your habits. Counseling might focus on specific points of pain or frustration. Spiritual direction certainly incorporates those elements from time to time, but the focus of spiritual direction is self-awareness and God-awareness. I believe the two are inseparably linked.
Famous theologian Augustine wrote in his work, Confessions, “How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self?” John Calvin opened up his famous work, The Christian Institutes, with a similar thought. “Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God.”
Spiritual direction seeks to answer the question, “What is the intent of God for this person at this time?” (Gordon Smith) But it also seeks to understand how our past has shaped our present. Who we are today is dramatically shaped by where we come from. Our families of origin, the formative experiences of our past.
These conversations typically last an hour at a time. Once a month, or more frequently if you desire. I’ve been so richly impacted by men like Karl Kaufman and Scott Teutsch who have invested in my life in this way. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to impact people with this type of work as well. I’d love to work with you, to help you on your journey towards wholeness in Christ!