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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Warning signs

Signs along the road are not there to prohibit us but to protect us.
When you see a stop sign - that is there so you aren't injured or killed or so that you won't injure or kill others.
When you and I see speed limits on the highway, those are there to protect us - not to prohibit us.
We need warning signs as we drive - and we need warning signs in our Christian life.
All of us want to be real and authentic - none of us wants to be "fake."
We all long to be transparent, and hang around people are "real" as well.
Let me give you some questions that you can ask yourself - to see if you are living the "real thing" in  your walk with God.  These questions are five "warning signs" in your relationship with Christ.
Question number one:  "Am I being spiritually authentic?"  Or am I caught up in what I "should" say as a Christian - or what I am supposed to say?  Do you have a hart time talking about God without trying to convince people that you are spiritual?  Do you work hard at hiding your sins? 
Question number two:  "Am I becoming judgmental and exclusive and proud?" Some people think they are so spiritual - they are looking for a spot in the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Here's how human nature is:  As soon as we achieve some kind of holiness, we begin to wonder why others aren't as holy as we are!
Question number three:  "Am I becoming more approachable or less?"  Jesus drew people (especially the disadvantaged) to himself.  The Pharisees and Scribes pushed people away.
Question number four:  "Am I growing weary of pursuing spiritual growth?"  If you are like me, sometimes the "weight of perfection" (that is self-imposed or imposed by others), can become so heavy you almost can't bear it. 
Question number five:  "Am I measuring my spiritual life in superficial ways?"  Dallas Willard writes, "Spirituality, wrongly understood or pursued, is a major source of human misery and rebellion against God."  All the self-effort in the world will not draw you closer to God.  The way to spirituality is not to try to be like Jesus, but to train to be like Jesus (Ortberg).  We don't change from the outside in but from the inside out.  Holiness is an "inside job".
I encourage you to take some time this weekend (in your prayer time with God) and ask yourself these five questions - and then ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you in the right direction - the direction of growing in Christ and being authentic.
Just a thought for a Thursday.

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