Mussar is a word that may sound strange to many believers who have never heard it before but you HAVE heard it…in the Bible in fact. You probably heard it MANY times. You have just heard it in English.
Now if we look at verse 2 in Hebrew, it looks like this:
לדעת חכמה ומוסר להבין אמרי בינה
The bolded word in Hebrew and in English in the verse above is the word “Mussar”. It means discipline.
You probably do some form of its practice in your spiritual development already.
While Mussar may sound strange to you…it is not some odd, worldly practice. The word Mussar appears in Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) 51 times, more than half of them in the book of Proverbs.
It helps develop what comes down to the spiritual disciplines and traits that help us to be loving, giving, fruit-bearing people.
It is sometimes translated as discipline and instruction and helps us strike that balance between law and spirit, and observance and character.
It is the discipline of consistent personal character refinement. Our greatest Mussar Master, Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), taught us how we should bear good fruit as a demonstration of the Spirit operating in our lives and our love for God being lived out from day to day.
SIGN UP NOW for our Monthly Membership where you get Mussar AND Hebrew classes among many other great benefits! We meet every Thursday evening at 7 PM Eastern! You will receive Zoom call details via email.
The book we will be using for the current study is With Heart in Mind by Alan Morinis (book not included in membership).
What is Mussar?
The word “Mussar” appears in the Bible 51 times in Hebrew, with over half of them in the book of Proverbs.
The basic premise behind this centuries-old practice is that it is not enough to learn that it is important to show loving-kindness to another person or to learn that patience is a virtue. That “head” knowledge does not give you the traits of loving-kindness or patience. Learning ABOUT kindness does not make us more kind. Learning about patience does not make us more patient.
But working on our “spiritual curriculum” and working through this with others while you share your stories and your own difficulties not only helps you come together as a community but it helps you to strengthen those traits in yourself AND in others.
Sarah Friedson says “What I am calling your curriculum shows up most clearly in issues that repeatedly challenge you. I’m talking about the behaviors that dunk you in the same soup, time and time again.”
For Christians who have a longing to follow the Torah or at least the principles of Torah, Mussar is the perfect practice because it allows you to develop the traits that really exhibit the living out of Torah in your life on a day-to-day basis while having it written on your heart rather than trying to follow the letter of the law.
Each trait that we study allows you to grow deeper toward living a life of faith, love for others, and obedience to God and His Word, as well as striking balance in your life. For instance, humility is a trait we study. But too much humility is just as harmful as too little.
You find the traits that you struggle with the most and know those are part of your curriculum and you also learn, through our discussions, that you are not alone.
Mussar with Diane is hands down one of the best discipleship groups I’ve been a part of.
I love how Diane helps us get to the heart of the matters we study, so it’s never just surface work; it’s discipleship and study that actually changes the way we live. The conversations are honest and transparent; two things I greatly value in discipleship. I can’t recommend this group enough!
So How Does One Practice Mussar?
We work on this together in a group.
I select a book that I feel we could all benefit from and work well in together and each week we read a chapter and come together on a Zoom call (right now these are scheduled for Thursdays at 7 PM Eastern beginning February 3, 2022) to discuss and share.
I can tell you that this is a really amazing discussion and those who participate in Mussar have stated it is one of the best studies they have ever participated in!
Since this is a typically Jewish practice that I am “tweaking” for all believers, I would select a book that ALL people participating would feel comfortable working in.
And if you want to learn more about my qualifications, check out my About Us page.
The book we will be using for the current study is With Heart in Mind.
So join us as we cultivate spiritual discipline in our lives together, encouraging one another in the Lord.
Mussar for Kids
Proverbs 22:6 says
Teaching your child the spiritual disciplines will give them a firm spiritual foundation in life.
As they learn traits like gratitude, lovingkindness, patience, charity, and more, they will develop into people of faith who walk in the ways of the Lord, showing love to others and love for God and His Word.
To help teach them these traits and disciplines, we are currently working on a Mussar for Kids program!
Our goal in this program is to educate children about values and motivate them to practice, act on, and apply them in their lives.
So join our monthly membership and take part in Mussar as only ONE of the many benefits!!
And be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified when Mussar for kids begins!