We have been doing some car shopping lately. Great fun. (Do you sense the sarcasm?) The way I shop is I gather info on 4-5 different cars and compare and contrast them…usually to a ridiculous degree. Why do I do that? Well, primarily, I want the best value for my dollar. I have a standard, set by me and Kara, each car has to reach – or it’s out!
I think about how God does that. He has set a standard which we must strive to attain. We can’t request the standard be adjusted. It’s His! So, how do we know we’re getting there? Since it IS His standard, we have to know if we’re close to it, don’t we? How can we gauge our spiritual development? How do we know if we’re “measuring up” spiritually? Well, in 2 Cor 10:12, Paul says one way to correctly measure spiritual growth is to quit using worldly standards, and start using God’s (2 Corinthians 10:13). Seems like a plan. Let’s identify four standards by which we can accurately measure spiritual growth.
- 1) How’s our diet? Are we taking in and digesting God’s Word? Are we studying and learning more about Him and His will, delving deeper than ever before, or are we satisfied with what we’ve known for years, or worse yet, not reading and studying at all?
- 2) Who do we mimic? Truth is, we should measure our growth not by comparing ourselves with others, but with Christ. As we examine the qualities of Jesus’ life, we have to remember it’s not just His actions which are important, but His thoughts, His intentions as well we must model in our lives.
- 3) Are we yielding the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? We should be growing in love, in joy, in peace, in patience, in kindness, in goodness, in faithfulness, in gentleness, and in self-control. If we’re not, we may not be advancing as we should.
- 4) Are we producing other spiritual fruit? By that I mean, are we teaching others (Heb 5:12-14)? The desire and the ability to share our faith is a mark of spiritual growth. You and I should be active in learning how to share the gospel with someone else.
You see, God promises to bless the one zealous for Him. The question we have to ask ourselves is this:
“Will I settle for not growing, or at best, slowly growing by spending my time in worldly pursuits, or will I put my heart and soul into measuring up spiritually in Christ (Matt 6:21)? Either way we choose, the reality is, our choice will soon be apparent in our lives. As Paul prayed, we too should pray that we will be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”, that we might “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:9-10).
Only then, can we be assured we measure up – not to man’s standards – but to God’s.
Ideas adapted from: “Measuring Spiritual Growth” by Mike Riley