I feel like I’m the last person that should talk about journaling. I’ve never been very good at it. I’ve tried doing it a number of times over the years, but I have never been able to do it with any real consistency. However, my struggle doesn’t negate the value of the discipline of journaling. Journaling can be a positive experience for a person looking to grow in their faith. I’d like to give you some strong reasons to implement journaling into your daily or weekly spiritual discipline habits.
Organizing Your Prayer Life: One of the great things journaling can help you do is keep track of prayer requests. If you are like me, it can be difficult to keep track of all of your prayer requests. Having them written down in your journal helps to keep track of them as well as reminds you to pray for those requests regularly.
Tracking God’s Faithfulness: This has always been the most significant reason to journal for me. Keeping a journal allows you to see how God has been faithful to you over the course of your life. You are able to see how God has responded to you as you struggle through thoughts and feelings, express joy and gratitude, or grapple with doubt over the course of your life. When you look back through journals you can see God’s hand at work in your life and be reminded that He is faithful.
Reflecting On Your Faithfulness: Journaling gives us the opportunity to explore our faithfulness to God. It allows us to track our progress in becoming more like Jesus. We can easily see who were a week ago, a year ago, or 30 years ago when we have journals to look back on. There is a lot of value in being able to look back at our faith development and see where our areas of growth or perhaps regression have been.
Exploring Your Thoughts: Sometimes our thoughts and feelings come pouring out through the written word in surprising ways. When we internalize our thoughts and feelings we don’t always reflect well on them. Writing can help us explore and examine our lives in a more thorough way. We might find that we have thoughts and feelings about things we didn’t know we had.
It Can Help Relieve Anxiety and Worry: Journaling can help us to relieve anxiety and worry. It can be a mode of prayer by which we give those worries to God. It can be a way to express our anxiety instead of keeping it bottled up and internalized. Writing out our worries can help bring clarity to them. We may not always be able to identify why we are worried. Journaling can help us resolve that.
I’d encourage you to make journaling a part of your life if you haven’t already. it can be a significant factor in your faith development and can be a tremendous help as you navigate what it means to live out your faith.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you regularly take time to journal?
- Have you had success with journaling? Why or why not?
- What other ways might journaling help you?