A casual glance at the magazines and “newspapers” displayed at our grocery store check out counters reveals a great deal about our society. Splattered among the salacious headlines you can track the interests of the American populous. We care about who is leaving whom. We want to know about the children of our “stars” and we seem to delight in seeing the progress a celebrity is making in drug or alcohol rehab.
We are also fascinated with the myriad of “self examinations” available. By answering just a few short questions we can evaluate the health of our marriage, judge the worthiness of our friendships and estimate the time it will take to have the perfect body.
Read the headlines on those periodicals…”Are you and your husband/wife REALLY compatible? Take this quiz and determine the life expectancy of your marriage.” Or, “What kind of a friend are you? Take this quiz and learn about your relational style.” When I recently perused those silly papers and their headlines, I thought of a great book I read this summer.
“The Me I Want to BE” is the title of a relatively new book by John Ortberg. I highly recommend it. In one of the chapters, John addresses a fundamental question for believers, “How can I measure my spiritual growth? How do I assess the well-being of my soul?”
And instead of a meaningless 15 point survey, John reveals just two important questions that can help us maintain the right fervor in our Christian walk. He proposes asking ourselves:
1. Am I growing more easily discouraged theses days?
2. Am I growing more easily irritated?
He is contending that at the core of the flourishing soul, the love of God and the peace of God will be blatantly evident.
The process to become “The Me I Want to Be” requires a sincere commitment to spiritual growth. And, self examination is a great tool to help that process along. So, I asked myself those two questions. I used a sixth month point of reference. Looking at this week versus last week is too short of a time frame. I can’t get a good “read” on myself. But looking a block of six months helps me have perspective.
I have to admit that the result of my own “self survey” yielded a mixed response. Although I am more prone to irritation than discouragement, there is still plenty of room for growth.
Growing requires constant attention. The Jewish Talmud tells the story that every blade of grass has an angel bending over it whispering, “GROW, GROW.” I am not too sure about the angels’ attention to our lawns, but I am confident that God and His Spirit are standing over each believer urging on our spiritual growth.
So this week, take the two question quiz and GROW!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel