There's a phrase that's made its way into church culture these days--spiritual formation. Admittedly, I would have had no clue what that was all about 14 years ago. Now I understand a little more. We are not simply material beings. Our spirits are formed every day, every moment, by something--by the values we see on TV, the information we choose to believe, the people who speak into our lives, or any number of influences. The point is, we are being formed. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to be intentional about how my spirit is formed. I want the influences I allow into my life to make me look more like Christ in five years than I look today. What does that mean in practical terms? Jesus knew when to keep silent. Not me. Jesus knew when to speak the truth in no uncertain terms. Not me. Jesus saw the truth about people, not just the ugly behavior they displayed. Not me. Jesus was a perfect model of grace, truth, inclusiveness, justice, love, mercy. Me? Not so much. But I'm getting better. That's what spiritual formation is about--putting myself in paths of grace so that I come to resemble Christ more and more the longer I'm on this journey toward God.