Two of my most trusted spiritual guides, Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon Au, in their fantastic book The Discerning Heart, have offered an eightfold framework of what they call “movements of growth,” but which we could also call “movements of faith.” These offer one glimpse of what genuine spiritual growth looks like. These movements are all different aspects of the same phenomenon: being a whole human person. But each of these aspects offers a slightly different perspective, and so this series unpacks each of these movements to better understand how they connect to spiritual maturity, human development, and the life of faith.


  1. The movement away from facades;
  2. The movement away from ‘shoulds’;
  3. The movement away from conformity for the sake of acceptance;
  4. The movement away from people-pleasing;
  5. The movement toward openness;
  6. The movement toward trust in oneself;
  7. The movement toward trust in God’s faithfulness; and
  8. The movement toward accountability.