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 noteworthy 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.
Along with the Blackabys, my mentors all agree that time spent diving into God’s Word, via a Bible study and quiet time is invaluable.
There’s still time to sign up for four fun Tuesdays (the month of January) for a brand new Bible study, taught by my dear friend and mentor, Liz Curtis Higgs, starting tomorrow, January 7th, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., at Christ Church United Methodist. What a way to begin a new year! Call the office to jump in: (502) 897-6421. They’re at 4614 Brownsboro Road, here in Louisville. Lots of my Tuesday Bible study buddies are diving in too! We hope to see you!
Meanwhile, I pray your brand new year begins with blessings a plenty! May we all “grow up in Christ.”
Here’s to a happy-n-healthy 2020!
‘Til next time!