Reflective practice allows you to learn from your experiences for the purpose of improvement and growth. For Christians, it involves remembering God’s activity, being grateful for it and him, and expecting him to do even more. Reflective practice – prayer, journaling, meditating – can reestablish your focus on “the realities of heaven” (Colossians 3:2) when life distracts you from that which God sets before you.
In contrast, obsessive introspection dwells on the past. It hashes over every detail, searching for absolution. Obsessive introspection keeps a backwards focus and relies on the self to figure out and understand instead of trusting God to work all things for your good (Romans 8:28).
Looking inward – reflective practice – can be immensely helpful in staying focused and having a growth mindset. This is especially true if our reflections ultimately point us outward toward what God is doing in our lives.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)