Home » Spiritual Direction » What a Spiritual Director Can Do for You

What a Spiritual Director Can Do for You

“We frequently need other people’s help to figure out what God wants of us. It is relatively easy to sort out what is bad from what is good, but it is much more difficult to sort out what is good from what is better and what is bad from what is worse. The Holy Spirit gives us the counsel we need through external and internal signs of grace.” — Rev. Jude Winkler

First of all, let me tell you what a spiritual director is not. A spiritual director is not a therapist. A spiritual director is not a licensed professional counselor. A spiritual director is not someone who will “fix” you.

A spiritual director SHOULD be a trained guide who understands the challenges of this world and has travelled the wilderness of life. They are someone who has engaged in spiritual combat with forces we may not even be aware of and has learned to defeat them. A good spiritual director has worked to develop the ability to discern false spirits from good spirits and can help you do the same.

I put emphasis on the word SHOULD because I have encountered spiritual directors who took my money, tried to play counselor, and did more damage to my soul than good. I have had a spiritual director lead me into false consolation (meaning the director had become a tool of the enemy). Be very careful about going to a spiritual director who charges for their time. A good director may accept gifts (a workman is worthy and their time is valuable) but a good spiritual director will work with you whether you pay them or not.

A good spiritual director will be an encouraging person. They will be gentle toward a person but firm against the enemy. A good spiritual director will be a prayer warrior in you behalf. They will project humility and compassion. They will rarely tell you what to do but instead will ask questions that can help you see the situation with more clarity and assurance. They will aid you in discernment when discernment is needed.

A spiritual director may or may not belong to an organization like Spiritual Directors International (I am a member mainly because of their code of ethics). Again be careful because some of these folks are not followers of Christ and may or may not have been competently trained. Get references or ask a lot of questions before you agree to meet with them.

You do not have to meet with a spiritual director in person. So of the masters spiritual direction did most of the work through letters. In our age, a spiritual director can be very helpful when Zoomed or Facetimed. You do not have to meet with them unless you feel the need. A good spiritual director will find time for you but will have boundaries you will need to accept.

Lastly, a good spiritual director (and I have a great one who has been of immense help to me) understands their purpose and place. They have realized the importance of community. They understand the lies and twisted truths of the enemy. But most of all, they have learned to trust God. They are close to our Lord and work with (not in place of ) the Holy Spirit.

I believe every person can benefit from a spiritual director if you are sincere in growing in your faith and love for our Lord. Seek out a good one and it will be a life changing experience.

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