How do you evaluate your own spiritual progress? I am not talking about judging or labeling others… simply about how you benchmark your own day to day spiritual "temperature"’?
I grew up in a church movement that used the avoidance of sin as the single greatest measure. How you ranked on the "holiness" scale was all important (never mind how you define holiness… that it was often heavily emphasized against the "icky" sins in vogue that year).
The problem with this scale, of course, is it is all about what you are NOT doing. I’m not lying, cheating, or stealing… so I must be alright! Others define faith by what you ARE doing: am I worshiping, engaging in healthy relationships, practicing spiritual disciplines, and serving others, for example.
Those are also good. But in UnChristian, David Kinnaman outlines another approach to evaluating our own spiritual development. Three simple questions:
- How am I Thinking? Is my faith significantly impacting my day to day worldview?
- How am I Loving? Is my faith growing my love for God and all people? Can people see it?
- How am I Listening? Can people see my faith in my soft-hearted listening to God and to other people?
For me, the simpler things become, usually the more profound, applicable, and truthful they are. These three questions rocked me this last week. I have some thinking to do.