January is always a time when a lot of start-overs happen. People want to get more organized, eat better, exercise more and a varied list of other things. From a spiritual perspective what might we …
January is always a time when a lot of start-overs happen. People want to get more organized, eat better, exercise more and a varied list of other things. From a spiritual perspective what might we want to do to get a fresh start with God? Romans 12:3 says, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but think of yourselves with sober judgement, according to the amount of faith God has given you.” It is always a good exercise to take an introspective look at yourself. Be positive but be accurate as well. Be careful to not put yourself on a pedestal, giving yourself a higher rating than you deserve. We can do this when we think soberly, or clearly when looking at who we are. Let me give you some pitfalls to avoid when doing a spiritual self assessment.
1. Comparison is never an accurate way of assessing yourself. Why? Because you can always make yourself look good. Compared to a serial killer I am a very good man. Just as you can lie with statistics you can lie with comparison so don’t let comparison be your method of assessing yourself 2. Measuring your spirituality by what you do never works unless you’re a Pharisee. This assumes that God measures maturity by how much we do for him. God is not impressed by the number of times we attend church, the amount of time we pray or the amount of money we give. All religious exercises, or spiritual disciplines, are good for us but they don’t give us bonus points in God’s eyes.
Remember, God is not concerned about what you do FOR Him as much as who you are TO Him.
The sober truth is in recognizing that we are all forgiven sinners who have been rescued by the grace of God. So, we live in gratitude and thanks. We do good as a response to his goodness and grace not to receive it. We obey not to gain his love and acceptance but because we’re so thrilled that he has given it.
As I begin a new year I see myself as one who is nothing but for the grace of God. I have the life, abilities, family, friends, comfort, food, money, (and where does this list end?) forgiveness from my past and hope for the future all because God has been gracious to me. And He has not singled me out but has graced you as well. Everything you are and have and look forward to are a gift from God. Do you see it? Do you see everything as a gift from Him or what you have managed to accumulate? A clear assessment recognizes God’s hand in it all. But that’s my opinion.
Pastor Randy Berg, CalvaryHastings.org