In Robert Mulholland's book, "Shaped by the Word," he gives this definition of Spiritual Formation: "A process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others." I really like this definition because it really puts things into perspective. Let's just look at that definition a little bit closer.
The first thing he says is that spiritual formation is a process. This tells us that it is not instantaneous, it's not a quick fix, but it is a journey. It really is a lifelong process of growth into the image of Christ.
The second thing we see is that the purpose of the process is to conform us into the image of Christ -- to mold, shape, and transform us until people see more and more of Jesus in us, and less and less of our old nature. When people see us at work, at the store, or at the ball fields, they are seeing in action the very process of our being conformed into the image of Jesus. This is not a cliche that we flippantly speak about, but a deep change in our hearts that manifests in our dealings with one another. Our lives are marked by love.
The third thing we see is that we are being conformed not for our own sake, but for the sake of others. How foreign that is today, even in the church, that we are to allow this process to take place in us for the sake of others! It truly isn't about us at all!
How is the process of being transformed into his image going in your life? And how is it showing in your dealings with others? Let's enjoy the journey with him, so others can be changed also.