Tag Archives: spiritual growth

Wish list

Some web sites let you create wish lists, items that you would like to have from that site. I’m thinking in particular of Amazon.com, but I know there are others that do the same. They encourage you to publish these on your site so that friends and benefactors can know what to purchase for you.

I never really felt good about that, but I decided to give into the pressure. Here’s a list of things that I want and need:

  1. Humility — I guess most of us who write and teach struggle with this. We have to have some degree of self-confidence to expose our ideas in public, yet we also fight with the desire to be seen as the smartest guy in the room. Probably some of that comes from insecurity more than security, still, as I present ideas, I want to learn to do so in a humble manner.
  2. Anger control — One of the quick ways for me to see when I’m following me rather than following the leading of the Spirit is when anger becomes common in my life. I don’t go around yelling at people or hitting things, but I find myself getting angry. Sadly, I find flashes of fleshly emotion when dealing with people on the Internet. I end up deleting a lot of the sarcastic replies I write, but some of them still get out there.
  3. Organizational skills — Some people have poor organizational skills; other of us have none at all. My dad is extremely organized, almost compulsively so. In traditional generational rebellion, I am the opposite. I like the concept of organization, but can’t seem to pull it off. The one area where I am semi-organized is my computer, but even then, I haven’t really pulled things together. (Yes, I do have thousands of messages in my Inbox)
  4. Promptness — I can’t really find the right word here; it’s the opposite of procrastination. This goes along with the organizational skills. I tend to be good at doing things at the last minute, yet there comes a time when there can be too many things to get them all done well. Plus, procrastination produces stress.

The list could be much longer, but that’s enough for now. If you put off getting me a Valentine’s gift, maybe these items will give you an idea.

What can I get for you?

Pet peeve

I’ll admit it. There are certain phrases that just rub me the wrong way. I try not to show it in most cases, but I can’t help but react on the inside when I hear them.

One of those phrases is, “I’m just not getting fed.” It’s typically said in reference to what goes on at church. The person is almost always wanting to put the blame on others.

Let me clue you in to something: anyone capable of articulating that statement is capable of feeding themselves. We’ve got to get past this idea that others are responsible for our spiritual growth.

We go to assemblies looking to encourage one another, looking for ways to spur one another on to love and good works. If we go with the attitude “I wonder what I’ll get out of it today,” we probably won’t come away edified. If we go with the attitude “I wonder what I can do to encourage others today,” we’ll probably leave the assembly with a feeling of having been edified ourselves.

I’ve said that it’s like putting 3-year-olds in charge of making sure everyone gets a Christmas present. Their only concern is whether or not they get one. When everyone is sitting around waiting to see what they’re going to get, no one gets anything. When everyone is focused on what they can give, everyone will be taken care of.

As for the feeding, well, the vast majority of us are more than capable of finding ways to be fed. We don’t need to sit back and wait for others to do it.

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14)

Photo by RaveDave

What we think we know that we believe

Photo by Ove Tøpfer; from Stock Xchange

A few thoughts about what we believe:

  1. There is something that we believe which we are in error about. Something that we are fairly convinced of. We’re pretty sure that we’re right, but we’re wrong. No, I don’t know what it is. If I did, I wouldn’t believe it anymore, would I? :-)
  2. There is something that we are right about that godly, sincere men disagree with us on. It’s not because they don’t believe the Bible. It’s not because they are willfully disobeying God. Despite their sincerity and their piety, they are in error. Like us on #1.
  3. Neither of the above statements means that there is no absolute truth. It merely means that we humans aren’t capable of perfection, even in our belief systems.
  4. If we are really studying and growing, there will be something that we now believe that we will no longer hold to ten years from now. If we don’t grow in our understanding of God, His Word and His will, then I don’t see how we can be maturing spiritually.
  5. There is no entrance exam for getting into heaven.

All of this calls for large doses of humility, to be administered on a frequent basis. And if you’re like me, you probably need a double dose. I know I do.