If I had a nickel for every New Year’s Resolution I’ve been-ever-so-desirous-of-but-ditched, I’d be rich. Same song, different year…How ‘bout you?
Therefore, I’m not making any resolutions this year…
Wide-eyed tho’ you may be, It was my resolution to not make any resolutions….
Until…..I came across a lovely idea we can all do. It comes from a book my friend Mary gave me by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby in their note worthy devotional, Experiencing God Day by Day.
The entry from December 23rd is entitled The Wisdom of Spiritual Checking. The Blackabys discuss how we’re all used to having our progress measured in lots of ways. For example, we’re given tests in school, employee evaluations at work, and let’s not forget those charming physical exams from your docs.
My doc had a sign that read: “Eat Less. Exercise More” in every single exam room. I always challenged his nurses to place me in a room without that sign, but alas, they really were In. Every. Single. Exam. Room. (As were the obnoxious scales.)
The Blackabys point out that while we’re measured in many areas of our lives, we’re rarely measured by our spiritual growth. We learn from Luke 2:52:
The Blackabys remind us of Paul’s words: “When he was a new Christian, he behaved as a spiritual child, but as he matured in his faith, he began to act like a spiritual adult.”(1 Corinthians 13:11) They build their case by saying “There’s nothing wrong with acting like a baby when you are an infant, but…
… it is the obligation of every believer to strive for maturity.”
Hebrews 6:1 says, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity….” (ESV)
The Message is more my speed: “So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on ‘salvation by self-help’ and turning in trust toward God…”
The Blackabys suggest, “It is helpful for you to measure the progress in your spiritual life from time to time.”
How, we wonder, would one do such a thing? Our authors recommend we ask a mature Christian if our actions reveal our maturity. Another question to ask yourself comes from the Chairman of the Board of the school our boys used to attend (I’ll never forget it.): Are you more mature in your faith today than you were six months ago?
I know, yikes! Let’s vow to pray about these questions this week. Ask God to bring to mind someone you can ask about your spiritual growth.
I’ve got other helpful information when beginning a new year from Anne Graham Lotz, Dave Stone, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Ann Voskamp I’ll be sharing with you this month. Along with the Blackabys, all these writers and speakers say diving into God’s Word, via a Bible study and quiet time is invaluable.
Checkout “But I Don’t Have Time for a Bible study” if you’re already trying to squelch this idea…
‘Til next time!