Time for a Spiritual Checkup?
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“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”—2 Corinthians 13:5
How long has it been since you’ve had a spiritual checkup? We go to doctors and dentists for periodic examinations. We take our cars for occasional tune-ups. Tests are given in school to be sure the students are really learning. So in our spiritual lives, we need a faith checkup every now and then.
Perhaps you have heard about the boy who went into a drugstore to use a pay telephone to call a lady named Mrs. Johnson. He said, “Mrs. Johnson, do you need a good yard boy? I’m a hard worker.” Mrs. Johnson replied, “No thank you, I already have a fine young man who takes excellent care of my yard.” But the young boy persisted. “Does he get there on time? Does he charge a fair rate? Is he neat? Is he conscientious?”
Mrs. Johnson answered, “I do appreciate your interest, young man, but I am most pleased with the yard boy I now have. He is exceptionally good!” The boy thanked her and hung up.
The druggist had overhead the conversation and was impressed. He said, “Wait a minute, son. I didn’t know you were looking for a job. I’ll hire you! I can give you a job right here in my drugstore.” To which the boy replied, “Oh no, thank you. I already have a great job! You see, I am Mrs. Johnson’s yard boy. I was just checking up on myself.”
We all need to do that occasionally, don’t we? We need to check up on our spiritual lives: Do I feel close to God? Does my faith work? Am I trusting God more? Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “You will know them by their fruits…”1 What kind of fruit is your life bearing these days?—From Dial Hope website2
A heart check
“Search me, O God, and know my heart.”—Psalm 139:23
I have found it healthy to do a regular “heart check” to be sure that I am open to what the Holy Spirit might want to show me. So let me ask you: Are you ready to ignite your life, brighten your days and leave a deeper legacy than you ever thought possible? The Greek philosopher Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” So it is good to stop sometimes and reflect on where we are and where we want to be.
This is a healthy attitude. Why am I here? What is my mission? What am I uniquely formed to accomplish for God? What is my deepest purpose? What legacy was I destined to leave behind? Whose lives must I impact? What actions should I plan to take? Proverbs 14:23 says: All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk only leads to poverty. We need to roll up our sleeves!
The Psalmist cried out to God in Psalm 139:23–24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. I think he is saying to God: “Check me out. I want to live for you. Look deep within me. I want to improve!”—David Macfarlane3
What do you have a vision for?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”—Proverbs 29:184
What do you have a vision for? What do you have faith for? What do you yourself expect God to do this year, not next year? What can you see happening right now and from now on? What do you personally plan to do about it? What do you personally hope to do about it and want to do about it?
The most uncomfortable place for a Christian is a comfortable place. One of the greatest dangers is the feeling that you’ve really accomplished something; so much so, that you no longer have that driving motivation which makes you feel like you cannot stop, that you’ve got to keep going even if it kills you!
It’s not a matter of looking off in the future. If you’re not willing to die daily for Jesus right now, you may never be! And that begins on your block, getting out in your neighborhood, in your part of the world. As the lady said when she had to go out witnessing, “Oh, this just kills me!”
Well, that’s exactly what it should do: It should kill your pride, your selfishness, your egotism, and may even cause some considerable physical sacrifice and strain. This daily dying is the hardest kind, because you do it a thousand times, whereas at the end of your life the final death is nothing by comparison. Your final death is your graduation! This slow death of dying a little each day—that’s what takes a lot of guts.—David Brandt Berg
Spiritual health = loving God
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”—Mark 12:305
To detect health problems before they become serious, doctors recommend a routine physical exam. We can do the same for our spiritual health by asking a few questions rooted in the great commandment6 Jesus referred to.
Do I love God with all my heart because He first loved me? Which is stronger, my desire for earthly gain or the treasures that are mine in Christ?7 He desires that His peace rule our hearts.
Do I love God with all my mind? Do I focus on my relationship with His Son or do I let my mind wander wherever it wants to go?10 Do my thoughts lead to problems or solutions? To unity or division? Forgiveness or revenge?11
Do I love God with all my strength? Am I willing to be seen as weak so that God can show His strength on my behalf?12 Am I relying on His grace to be strong in His Spirit?
Published on Anchor April 2018. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.
Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Matthew 7:15–20.
3 Ignite Your Life (Thisway Communications, 2012).
6 Mark 12:30.
7 Colossians 3:1.
8 Colossians 3:5.
9 Colossians 3:12.
10 Colossians 3:2.
11 Colossians 3:13.
12 Colossians 3:17.
13 Colossians 3:16.