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A Spiritual Audit

Summer always feels like a time of review.  The change of pace, vacations, more enjoyment of nature – so many things say ‘pause,’ that it feels like I can be still long enough to think about where I actually am in my life.  It’s a lot different this summer being engaged in a church start, but I still want to come up for air and look around.

Years ago I came across a ‘Spiritual Audit’ written by Fred Smith (not the FedX ceo, but another business man).  Smith is a very practical follower of Christ, a direct, honest person.  I once read an article he wrote about how to give advice and he said that he always asked a person who sought his advice how many others the person had talked with.  If it was more than three, Smith would dismiss the person with the observation, “You don’t want advice, you want support for what you’ve already decided.”  I like it that he would say that.  I’m always jealous of those kinds of people who don’t really care what others might think about them.

 Anyway, another business friend of Smith’s asked him about how he could take his vital signs about his spiritual health.  In an article in Leadership, Winter 1998 Smith listed several questions he asked himself.  For the next few weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll go through several of these questions.  You might find them helpful.  I do.

#1  Am I content with who I am becoming?  A great question, although according to my Myers Briggs I will never be content with who I am becoming.  Supposedly, I live with such an idealized view of life, I will always think that my experience falls short of what could be.  And that’s true of all of us to some degree.  The apostle Paul said that he was not content with his knowledge and experience of Christ – that he was always pressing on.  But, I don’t think that Smith means that he has arrived, doesn’t need to grow anymore.  He’s asking, “Do you like who you are becoming?”  Do you even know who you are becoming?  Do you know who you would like to become?

Ask it another way:  Is God content with who I am becoming?  Who does God want me to become?  Don’t waste time digging your guilt pit with this question.  Don’t get fatalistic about your failures and shortcomings. Some of us may live under a cloud of constantly thinking that God is discontent with us.

Simply ask God the question.  You may be surprised by his answer.  He may say, “I really like it that you are a person who asks.  Who stops long enough to consider it.” 

He may say, I really like the way you are learning to trust me in a difficult area of your life.” 

“I really like it that you are more and more giving up your compulsion for perfection and learning how to enjoy me.”

As you answer the question yourself, you may actually have the ability to resist denial and realize that you are becoming a person you don’t want to be.  You may realize:

“I am more fearful about my future then I would like to be.”

“I am holding onto some hurt that is slowly infecting my life with bitterness.”

“I have not been reading much or learning much lately, or taking steps to grow.

However you answer the question, choose a few good things to celebrate and leverage, and choose a few things to tackle and overcome.  Just a few.  Then share your answers with someone close to you, and see what they think.

Become something on purpose.

PS.  Laura’s query about the Montgomery Gentry reference in last post.  I dictated that post to my son, Will, while visiting Nashville.  That was his reference to a popular country duo.  Check out their song, Roll With Me.  Goes great with this post.           http://www.cmt.com/videos/montgomery-gentry/267823/roll-with-me.jhtml

Comments

  1. Good question. I am becoming more aware of mental habbits. Yes, we are all raised a certain way, but at some point you make choices for yourself. When do knee jerk reactions become a choice? I am still figuring this one out. With God’s help, one day at a time, I am becoming better… I hope. 😉