6 Steps To Take When You Find Yourself In A Spiritual Funk

A few weeks ago, I was on a walk with a very good friend of mine when he asked me a question that has had me thinking. His question is probably a question many of us should be asking if we are being honest with ourselves.

“What do you do when you find yourself in a spiritual funk? How do you get out of it?”

Okay. Maybe it was two questions. Honestly, I’m not sure these were his exact words, but you get the idea. What should we do when we find ourselves in a spiritual dry spell – perhaps a desert?

It’s really a good question we all should ponder. After all, we are human. We do not always live on the mountaintop. We sometimes find ourselves in the valley. For many, 2020 has perhaps felt like the deepest, darkest of valleys.

Acedia might also be the word to describe where you are and what your are feeling:

Acedia comes from a combination of the negative prefix a- and the Greek noun kēdos, meaning “care, concern, or grief.” (The Greek word akēdeia became acedia in Late Latin, and that spelling was retained in English.) Acedia initially referred specifically to the “deadly sin” of sloth. It first appeared in print in English in 1607 describing ceremonies which could induce this sin in ministers and pastors, but that sense is now rare. Acedia now tends to be used more generally to simply imply a lack of interest or caring, although it sometimes still carries overtones of laziness.”


Acedia means apathy or boredom. Are you feeling apathetic or bored when it comes to your faith? If so, that’s acedia.

I don’t know about you, but acedia is not a place I want to stay. I want to be excited about my faith. I want to be stretched by my faith, and I certainly do not want to dwell in a place of spiritual funk or acedia.

So what should we do when we find ourselves in a spiritual funk?

I’m not a theologian, so I’ll give you some of my ideas then I’ll follow them up with a few articles you may want to read to expand on what I am sharing.

6 Steps To Take When You Find Yourself In A Spiritual Funk

  1. Acknowledge you are in a funk. They often say the first step to solving a problem is to recognize the problem. It’s okay. You are not alone. When you acknowledge your acedia, you are better prepared to take steps to move out of this valley. (Psalm 42)
  2. Tell someone about your funk. You don’t necessarily have to broadcast it to the entire world; instead, find a few close friends who will walk with you through your valley. This can be a courageous step as we often fear admitting our vulnerabilities to others. (Proverbs 27:9-11)
  3. Admit your funk to God. You don’t have to be eloquent or elaborate. Simply lay your feelings at His feet. God knows it already (after all, there is nothing He doesn’t know). If you are struggling with this, take some time to read through the book of Psalms. There are plenty of times where David or the other psalmists admit to God their feelings of distance from Him. (James 4:10)
  4. Listen for God’s voice. God speaks to us in many ways. He speaks to us through His Word – the Bible. He speaks to us through nature. He reveals Himself through others. Often the thing missing when we are in a spiritual funk is a connection to God and His voice. (Job 37:5-7)
  5. Connect with others. We were meant for community. The author of Hebrews says it well, we must continue meeting together spurring each other on (Hebrews 10:24-25). In this time of COVID-19, many of us are missing this essential element as we attempt to stay physically distant from each other.
  6. Decide not to stay in your funk. Let’s be honest, no one really wants to stay in a place of spiritual funk or acedia. It may not be easy, and it may take time, but today is the day to begin the journey out of your valley. (Joshua 24:14-27)

What is your experience with spiritual funk? How have you dealt with acedia? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

For additional reading, here are some articles you might find helpful:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)