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Image by Sushobhan Badhai


What is a Rule of Life?

A Rule of Life is an expression of our intention to cooperate with God’s work in us through our engagement with certain spiritual practices/disciplines.  These practices/disciplines are spiritual habits that we are forming in order for God to form in us a character that loves God and our neighbor.

How do I make a Rule of Life?

Typically a Rule is organized into the frequency of spiritual practices (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly).


A Rule of Life should also account for the four directions of our growth in love: up, down, out, and in, with each representing a way that the Bible talks about our growth in love.​

Grow Up

Up represents our love for God.  We grow up by discovering more of who God is and responding in praise.


Example disciplines: worship, Scripture-reading, prayer

Grow Down

Down represents the denial of self.  We grow down by identifying patterns that distract our focus on God's love, and then rooting them out.​


Example disciplines: confession, fasting, silence, solitude.

Grow Out

Out represents our love for neighbor.  We grow out by opening more of our lives to those God has placed around us  and seeking to bless them.

Example disciplines: hospitality, justice, community service, creation care.

Grow In

In represents the guarding of our heart.  We grow in through disciplines that put us in a right mood and mind to respond to God.

Example disciplines: Sabbath, spiritual counseling, sleep, diet, exercise.

Discern with the Lord where He is asking you to grow.  Write down disciplines at the frequency you sense is best.  Then offer your Rule of Life to the Lord.

This is not about proving your worth to God or inducing guilt.  If your Rule of Life becomes that, set it aside for a season. 

A discipleship group is a wonderful place to grow through reflection on how the Lord is growing you in love for Him and your neighbor.

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