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Journaling will enhance your life!

13 May 2012 2 Comments

Throughout my life I have learned that different people will give the same word a different meaning, according to their experience in life and how they interpret it, which can vary from person to person. Our personal perception and consequent interpretation of a specific word will differ according to our upbringing, as well as experience or lack of it.

For example, before I met Jesus and came to know Him as He truly is, my perception of the word “God” was very different from what it is today. Because of my upbringing, that word was portrayed in my mind as the picture of someone “out there” who was always checking on me with a rod in His hand, ready to hit me as soon as I misbehaved. Later on, as I went through life’s breakings and got desperate enough to cry out to Him, I was led to personally experience His love, which totally changed my perspective of the word “God”.

Today I know that “God is love” (I John 4:8), that “God is a Spirit” (John 4:23), and that, “as a father with the son in whom He delights” (Prov 3:12), “He delights in my way” (Psa. 37:23) and “cares for me” (1Pet. 5:7). What changed my perspective? My personal experience and new-found relationship with Him!

Journaling” is a word and a practice that is widely used nowadays, both in secular and Christian circles, but different people give it a different application, according to their understanding of it… Since I have also been using it a lot, both in my writings and as a practice, I thought it would be good to give the word Journaling a clearer definition of what it really means for me.

In the secular world, there are many professionals nowadays who use journaling as a therapeutic practice to help you release stress and get rid of emotional upheaval, by writing down your thoughts and emotions in order to get rid of them, but also to slow down and draw on your “inner wisdom” to help you clarify what is right. One article that explains this practice is titled: “The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management”, by Elizabeth Scott.

She says:  “Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It’s a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated in one’s mind.”

In the Christian world, there are also outstanding leaders today that use journaling as a means to teach their followers how to get the most out of their relationship with God, by writing down their thoughts and reflections on His Word and experience His wisdom in life. Among such leaders, one of the most famous is Rick Warren, from Saddleback Church in California, who wrote an article titled:  “Start the Spiritual Habit of Journaling”.

He says: “Writing down what God reveals to us is the spiritual habit of journaling. This is not the same as keeping a diary. A diary is, ‘This is what I did today.’ A journal is, ‘This is what I learned today.’ It’s not about what you did, it’s about what you are learning, what you are praying, and what God is saying to you.  If I want to hear God speak to me, I will say, ‘God, I want you to speak to me!’ Then I withdraw and get alone and get quiet: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) – Then I wait quietly, patiently, and expectantly on God. I ask a specific question, I look into his Word and then, when I see God’s answer, I write it down”.

There are many resources that one can find on the web to learn about Christian Journaling, but you can find some great articles at the following website: http://walkwiththeword.org

In the Life Coaching world, both secular and Christian, Journaling is also being greatly used these days! If you simply type “coaching and journaling” in any search engine, you will find scores of articles on the subject, but two Christian Coaches who have greatly helped me enhance my skills are Lynne Lee and Dr. Joseph R. Peck, both personal friends of mine.

In her article, titled  “Guide to Spiritual Journaling”, Lynne wrote: “Journaling is simply a way of recording your journey with God. It helps you to pay more attention to God and is a way of learning to hear and respond to Him. By keeping a record you can see what God’s been doing, how far you’ve come and where you’re going. Keeping a journal will help you to see how God is working in your life”.

Joseph has created a “Journaling For Breakthroughs Coaching Program”, where he has listed the benefits of Journaling. He says: Spiritual Journaling will transform your life!

  • It helps you slow down to meditate on the word of God
  • It allows God to be your Master Coach
  • It’s one of the keys to hear God’s voice every day
  • It builds you faith by remembering what God has done
  • It helps keep your priorities in order
  • It teaches you valuable life lessons
  • It helps you be and stay organized

The simplest and clearest explanation of Journaling I ever found on the web is the one given by Dr. Mark Virkler, of the Christian Leadership University, who’s teaching the whole world the “Four Keys to Hearing God’s voice”. He lists Journaling as the Key #4, saying:

Journaling, the writing out of our prayers and God’s answers, provides a great new freedom in hearing God’s voice. God told Habakkuk to record the vision and inscribe it on tablets (Hab. 2:2). If you search Scripture for this idea, you will find hundreds of chapters demonstrating it (Psalms, many prophets, Revelation).
I call this process “Journaling”, and I discovered it to be a fabulous facilitator to clearly discerning God’s inner, spontaneous flow, because as I journaled, I was able to write in faith for long periods of time, simply believing it was God. I did not have to test it as I was receiving it, because I knew that, when the flow was over I could go back and test and examine it carefully, making sure that it lined up with Scripture”.

This above explanation is what Journaling means for me. Every morning I try to sit down quietly and spend time with my favorite friend, Jesus, who is always there to love me, take me where I am, without judging me, and encourage me to move forward with my life! He is the best Master Life Coach that I have found, and I hope that you can connect with Him too. Journaling will greatly enhance your life for the better!

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If you want to learn How To Hear God’s Voice Through Spiritual Journaling, I will be happy to teach and coach you along the skills of it, until you become a real expert. Simply contact me at: email@renatoamato.com
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2 Comments »

  • Joseph Peck said:

    Hi Renato,

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article with good references. Spiritual journaling is truly life-changing. That’s how we got connected.

    Blessings,
    Joseph

  • Renato Amato » Blog Archive » What treasure are you sharing? said:

    […] If you want to learn “How To Hear God’s Voice Through Spiritual Journaling“, I will be happy to teach you and coach you until you become an expert of it! Simply contact […]