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We benefit from wise, experienced spiritual companionship in many ways. Sometimes anxiety, anger or fear may make it hard to sense God’s presence and to love others well. A broken relationship or the death of a loved one can cause us to wonder if God hears our prayers or if God even exists. Perhaps we are “burned out” and need encouragement. Seeking spiritual companionship releases us from the loneliness and frustration that can mark these times. We discover that we are able to persevere. God brings us hope and we experience joy.
Even when there are no crises in life, men and women often seek a spiritual companion to help them continue to grow in their life with God. Reflecting further on meaningful times of prayer or study in Scripture enriches our faith. Many leaders (whether lay or ordained) spend significant periods of time encouraging others; a spiritual companion can serve to offer them encouragement as well. Most Christians desire to know God even more intimately; to love God even more passionately; and to follow Christ even more closely. Spiritual companionship serves to point us to God, the One who fulfills these beautiful desires.
Spiritual companionship is intentionally contemplative in style.
Spiritual companionship is characterized by an attitude of attentive reliance upon the Lord’s presence during our time together. As people share, we pay attention to how God the Father is actively shaping their lives through the Holy Spirit in ways that form them ever more deeply into Christlikeness. We trust in God’s grace toward us. God loves us and longs to connect with us, just as a parent longs to bless a child.
Spiritual companionship is intentionally Biblical in grounding.
We draw our understanding of God and his ways from the Scriptures. Jesus clearly shows us how to love, serve, give, and forgive. How do we actually live out God’s commandments in our daily relationships and through our particular responsibilities? We look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). We also pay attention to where these fruits are lacking.