Episode 27: Developing a Framework for Intentional Spiritual Growth

What happens to a grapevine when it doesn’t have a trellis on which to grow?  Well, I’ve never seen what happens, but I imagine that the vine just sort of lays on the ground and the grapes end up getting eaten by worms or bugs or getting stepped on.  But when the vine has a trellis on which to grow, the grapevine is able to bear much fruit.

Likewise, we need a trellis for our lives if we are going to “bear much fruit” (as Jesus says in John 15).  We need an intentional framework that can help us grow in our faith.  In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero explains that this framework is called a “Rule of Life.”  In this episode, I talk about 1) why you need a Rule of Life and 2) how to develop a Rule of Life.





  • Spiritual growth requires intentionality.
  • Jesus stresses the importance of intentionally staying connected to him in John 15:1-8. Only then can we “bear much fruit.”
  • A “Rule of Life” is an intentional framework for our lives to help us grow spiritually.
  • The word “rule,” according to Peter Scazzero, comes from the Greek word for “trellis.” It is a structure that helps the vine grow, rest, and bear as much fruit as possible.
  • The story of Daniel demonstrates the power of an intentional Rule of Life.
  • Daniel was betrayed by other administrators in the Persian Empire. Rather than retreating, defending himself, or fighting back, Daniel simply returned to his Rule of Life—praying three times daily by his window that faced Jerusalem.
  • It was Daniel’s Rule of Life that gave him the strength to be faithful to God even when his life was threatened.
  • A Rule of Life can be structures with four categories in mind: prayer, rest, relationships, and work/activity.
  • Select one or two practices to engage in for each category.
    • Prayer
      • Scripture
      • Silence and Solitude
      • Daily Office
    • Rest
      • Sabbath
      • Simplicity
    • Relationships
      • Emotional Health
      • Family
      • Community
    • Work/Activity
      • Service
      • Care for the Physical Body
  • It takes trial and error to develop a Rule of Life.
  • Don’t get legalistic about your Rule of Life. As soon as your Rule of Life becomes a duty and chore, it will no longer be life-giving or draw you close to God.
  • “The great, buried gift in a Rule of Life is its goal of regulating our entire lives in such a way that we truly prefer the love of Christ above all things.” —Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s