Spiritual Discovery - 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth


Discover 7 principles for spiritual growth that will help you overcome unhealthy patterns that lead to bad habits, addictions and codependency.

Spiritual Discovery is written in an easy-to-read outline format and includes discussion questions and homework. It is suitable for individual or group studies. Facilitator guides are available for free download.

Formats: 8 1/2 x 11″ paperback with 252 pages and Kindle. Also available in Spanish.

Online Course Available

Spiritual Discovery is also offered as an online course. It is ideal for visual learners. Read more on the courses page and watch “The Cycle” video that describes how we can get stuck in a cycle of unhealthy patterns.

Table of Contents

  1. Spiritual Discovery
  2. Your Spiritual Battle
  3. The Truth about God
  4. Emotions
  5. Shame and Self Worth
  6. Unspiritual Defenses
  7. Identifying the Lies You Believe
  8. The Power of Truth
  9. Living Forgiven
  10. Entangled Relationships
  11. Overcoming Entangled Relationships, Part 1
  12. Overcoming Entangled Relationships, Part 2
  13. Bad Habits and Addictions
  14. Pursuing Righteousness
  15. The Power of Your Story

Back of the Book

Overcome unhealthy patterns that lead to bad habits, discouragement, codependency and addictions. Learn 7 principles for spiritual growth.

As Christians, we can struggle again and again with the same thing, not realizing that our struggle is rooted in what we believe about ourselves, God or others. Our deeply held beliefs may actually be lies that we accepted as truth at some point in our past. These lies can become strongholds in our lives and lead to discouragement, disconnection, disengagement, codependency, bad habits and addictions.

If you are unaware that your struggle is rooted in a lie that you believe, you are left to try to manage the effects of the lie and deal with the consequences each time it resurfaces. The struggle continues because you are only treating the symptoms, not the root cause. Further, if a lie distorts your view of God, you will be less likely to turn to him for help.

Spiritual Discovery is a bible study to help you identify what you believe and discover the truth that will help you break your unhealthy patterns.

Facilitator's Guides

Facilitator guides for Bible study groups and Christian recovery groups are available for free download. These guides will give you suggestions and tips for setting up and leading a small group.

  • Facilitator Guide for Bible Study Groups. This format will help you facilitate a small group study with Christians who want to grow spiritually. It takes 16 weeks to complete.
  • Facilitator Guide for Recovery Groups. This format is more thorough. It gives guidance for facilitating a group study with Christians who struggle with addictions, codependency, anger and other unhealthy behaviors. It takes 30 weeks to complete.
  • Facilitator Guide for Online Course. Participants watch videos and complete the homework then meet to discuss the lesson and homework. It takes 15 weeks to complete.

You Are Special!

In Lesson 5, we recommend reading You Are Special by Max Lucado. Click here to buy the book from Amazon. Or you can watch a video of the book being read on the Spiritual Discovery Youtube channel.

Optional Journal Outlines

In Lesson 15 homework, there is an optional assignment to write a journal. The following formats are available as free downloads.

Spiritual Discovery - 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth Journals


“When I signed up for this class, I had just gotten out of an abusive marriage that ended in divorce. I was so angry with God and I knew I needed to work through that anger or it was going to destroy me emotionally, spiritually and physically. I felt like I could not lose and I could only gain by taking the class as nothing else had really helped me to grieve and let go of my past. While in this class, I learned how the lies that I believed about myself and other people led to unhealthy boundaries and abusive relationships that could only be resolved by finding truth of my value in God’s eyes. I learned how comparison destroys self worth and relationships. I was able to better understand what is my load to carry and what isn’t, allowing me to embrace my friendships in different ways and to truly love people the way God calls me to. Going into the class I was questioning if God even existed and why he allows bad things to happen to people he loves and I left the class feeling closer to God, in awe of his power and compassion and incredibly grateful for the people he had put in my life. I would recommend this book for anyone that has ever had heartache or questioned “why me,” which is everyone, in order to find truth despite these hardships and to truly discover the incredible plans that God has in store for each and every one of us.” – Jacqueline

The principles taught in this book are amazing! I was able to see God’s truth after overcoming a lie that I did not even realize was there and had haunted me for most of my life, As I continue to uncover more lies and grow closer to God I am very grateful that the authors have allowed God to use them in this way. This book brings God’s truths alive and teaches how to live life to the full.” – Deb

It has been an eye opening and life changing journey through this book. I like how the book is drenched in God’s words. Through the many scriptures that reinforce the message of the book, I am discovering the person God intended me to be, how much He loves me and longs for a relationship with me.” – S. Donaldson

This study took me on a great journey of discovery — about me, my spiritual battle and God. It helped me uncover and overcome some deep insecurities. I’m grateful to God for the growth I have experienced and the peace he has given me.” Thank you! – Anonymous

“I was blessed to be able to attend the classes that coincide with this book. I am no longer afraid to visit my past, nor am I afraid to face my present or future. I had no idea about the lies I was believing on a daily basis. I am so grateful for the training! My life (and family) has drastically changed, and I am closer to God than ever before as a result of learning and implementing these principles.” — Z. Glass

Artwork of the 7 Principles

Free downloads: Print and frame these 4×6″ images to help you remember the 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth.

  • On a mobile device, long press the image.
  • On a computer, right click the image and choose “save image as” to save the file on your computer.

About the Authors

Virginia Lefler
Virginia Lefler

Virginia Lefler, author of A Gentle & Quiet Spirit and Pursuing Purity and Spiritual Beauty, and co-author of Spiritual Discovery – 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth devotes her time and energies to teaching, writing, and publishing books for Christian living. She has helped women around the world through her books, workshops, and online courses. Virginia and her husband, Jim, were married in 1972 and have two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.

Kathy Heinen
Kathy Heinen

Kathy Heinen, co-author of Spiritual Discovery – 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth, has served in the Breaking Free Ministry in Chicago for over 20 years, helping women overcome codependency and addictions. She facilitates group meetings and trains other facilitators. She and her husband, Doug, are devoted servants in the church. They have five children and eight grandchildren.

Jim Lefler
Jim Lefler

James Lefler, author of The Complete Guide to Grace, has devoted many years to the study and application of God’s grace. He is also a co-author of Spiritual Discovery – 7 Principles for Spiritual Growth. Jim’s book The Complete Guide to Grace has helped Christians, young and old in the Lord, feel the favor of God in their lives. Jim and Virginia have been married since 1972 and have two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.