steps-of-life-change

Steps of life-change

A process for making conscious and intentional choices

So you want to grow spiritually. Where to begin? New Church teachings describe simple steps toward spiritual growth and life transformation. Use this 5-week series as a format to gather together with some friends, your spouse, your family (or on your own) and start exploring the steps of spiritual growth and encouraging one another along the way. Consider the meaning of each step, and experience the power of applying these ideas in your life today.

Steps of Repentance

  • We examine ourselves to see our bad habits.
  • We acknowledge our bad habits.
  • We confess our bad habits.
  • We pray to the Lord,  asking for His help and power in shunning bad habits.
  • We turn away from our bad habits and begin a new life.

Click on a week, below, to see an outline for the weekly group meeting.

Week 1: Examination

Readings

"The person who explores himself or herself so that he may do the work of repentance, must explore his thoughts and the intentions of his will, and must there explore what he would do if it were permitted him, that is, if he were not afraid of the laws, and of the loss of reputation, honor, and gain."

–New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine 164

Discussion Questions

Discuss how to apply the teachings of the readings to your daily life.

What questions came up for you on this topic?

Weekly Task

Without fear or judgment, without concern about measuring up, notice what the Lord brings to your attention. What can you learn or see about yourself?

Week 2: Acknowledgement

Readings

"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in my word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'"

–John 8:31-32

Discussion Questions

Discuss how to apply the teachings of the readings to your daily life.

What questions came up for you on this topic?

Weekly Task

The Lord loves you right now—as you are. He knows you. All that is asked of you for this task is that you strive to acknowledge this.

Week 3: Confession

Readings

"The Lord, being mercy itself, forgives everyone his sins, and does not hold even one of them against a person."

–True Christianity 539

Discussion Questions

Discuss how to apply the teachings of the readings to your daily life.

What questions came up for you on this topic?

Weekly Task

Confession is a spoken acknowledgement. Practice sharing your negative attitudes or actions with the Lord, even if it feels strange at first.

Week 4: Prayer

Readings

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

–Matthew 7:7-8

Discussion Questions

Discuss how to apply the teachings of the readings to your daily life.

What questions came up for you on this topic?

Weekly Task

Practice momentary prayers throughout the day when you think of it or when you notice yourself engaging in harmful attitudes or actions. Ask the Lord to be in charge of your life.

Week 5: New life

Readings

"He who lives the life of charity and faith does the work of repentance daily; he reflects upon the evils which are with  him, he acknowledges them, he guards against them, he supplicates the Lord for help. For a person of himself continually lapses, but he is continually raised by the Lord, and led to good. Such is the state of those who are in good."

–New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine 163

Discussion Questions

Discuss how to apply the teachings of the readings to your daily life.

What questions came up for you on this topic?

Weekly Task

Try actively substituting truths for your false thoughts. Look for an opportunity to speak a truth you have learned to another person.  Look for an opportunity to put it into action.

Full issue

Daily Inspiration

"With all who are undergoing temptations, truth from the Lord is flowing in, and this truth rules and governs their thoughts, uplifting them every time they are given to doubt and also to feelings of despair."

Arcana Coelestia 5044