Looking back, looking ahead
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Last week we talked about being fit for the race ahead, both physically and spiritually. This week we can extend the analogy a bit further by discussing our past and our future. Yes, it’s the time of year we call Checkup Time.
Believe it or not, even animals go through a time to check their nests and dens and hollows. They want them clean and neat, ready for their new families. They set a good example for us humans. As far back as biblical days, households spent time each spring scrubbing and polishing every item and every corner of their homes. Many people still adhere to the ritual of spring cleaning, just as their ancestors did.
Business owners also “clean house,” so to speak, by taking fiscal inventory so they know exactly what changes to make toward further success. We, too, prepare for tax deadlines so we can give an honest accounting to the government.
January, though not quite springtime, is a good time to consider the past year in order to wisely plan new goals for the new year. Did we spend too much money on trivia last year? Too little on essentials? How can we change our diet to lose the weight we didn’t lose this past year? What other bad habits should we consider stopping?
Spiritual checkups are important, too. The Apostle Paul says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6) In other words, are we walking according to the Gospel that we profess? Are we applying the standard of the Gospel to our own lives—loving God first and foremost and then others as much as ourselves? Or are we holding back from God, not willing to give him every part of us?
Without faith, we cannot please God. We can all use more faith; we all struggle with unbelief in some things. But faith requires stepping outside our state of ease and comfort. It may mean offering a sick neighbor not only prayer but a meal or needed help. God wants to use our hands and feet, our smiles and kind words, our money and time. We may be the only Gospel people hear.
It’s checkup time, a time to prayerfully focus on every aspect of our lives—financial, physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual. How will we do?
Lord, bring to our mind the times our faith has failed. Strengthen our faith so we will readily step out to further Your Kingdom and so we will believe in You more fully. In Jesus’ name, amen.