How is Your Spiritual Life Going? (R)
John Ortberg from The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You:
“How is your spiritual life going?”
I used to answer this question by looking at the state of my devotional activities: Did I pray and read the Bible enough today? The problem is that by this measure the Pharisees always win. People can be very disciplined, but remain proud and spiteful. How do we measure spiritual growth so that the Pharisees don’t win?
I asked a wise man, “How do you assess the well-being of your soul?”
He immediately said, “I ask myself two questions”:
– Am I growing more easily discouraged these days?
– Am I growing more easily irritated these days?
“At the core of a flourishing soul are the love of God and the peace of God. If peace is growing in me, I am less easily discouraged. If love is growing, I am less easily irritated. It was a brilliantly helpful diagnostic to assess the health of my soul. . .
“‘How is your spiritual life going?’ frightens us. A nagging sense of guilt and a deficit of grace prompt us to say, ‘Not too well. Not as good as I should be doing.’ People often use external behaviors and devotional practices to measure their spiritual health. they measure their spiritual life by how early they get up to read the Bible, or how long their quiet times are, or how often they attend church services. But that is not what spiritual formation is about. . . Spiritual formation is the process by which your inner self and character are shaped. . .To be spiritually alive means to receive power from God to have a positive impact on your world.”