Every year about this time, I usually go in for my annual checkup. It’s not something I enjoy, but it’s something I know I need to do. Sure, I could skip it, but it is something that just might prevent problems down the road.
The season of Lent can be a checkup time for us, too. Not a physical checkup, but a spiritual one. It is good to sit back every once in a while, and take a look at our spiritual life. Have we grown as children of God? Have we started doing or stopped doing things because we love the Lord? Can others see the Lord in us? If you haven’t had a spiritual checkup lately, this is a good time. Ask yourself:
- Am I showing the Lord that I love Him? It is good to praise the Lord with our words, but we need to show Him that He is first in our lives. We need be in constant communication with Him so that we know what His will is for us. Your constant prayers for Mom or Dad are like incense to the Lord. Jesus told us if we put Him first, then the rest of it will fall into place.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT)
- Am I loving others as Jesus loves me? If we love Jesus, then we must also love others. And not just when it is easy to love. We need to love them even when they are hard to love. Even when they are doing or saying things that may hurt us. Even when they don’t show this love back to us. Maybe you think that it hasn’t done any good for you to show unconditional love to your dad or mom. Nothing has changed. I know it’s hard, but it is one of Jesus’ most important commands.
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)
- Am I praising the Lord enough? Sometimes our prayers can end up being just a list of needs and wishes and even complaints. But the Lord wants us to praise Him, too. Not just for what He has done or what He has promised to do, but for what He is – our Savior and Redeemer. There is always something to praise Him about. Think about your day today and all the good things that were a part of it. Your friends, your parents, that math quiz you aced. Thank Him for providing those good things for you. He loves to do it for us and He loves to hear our thanks.
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
- Am I showing others Jesus’ love? The Bible tells us that we aren’t saved by our works alone, but that if we are saved, our works will show Jesus’ love. This means that we show by our deeds and actions that we love Jesus and love others. It means not only praying for others but doing for others. Helping the neighbor next door scoop her driveway or mow her yard; going out of your way to include the new kid in school in your game of nine-square; even something as simple as holding the door for someone with their hands full. All these deeds are ways for others to see Jesus in us.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?… Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” James 2:14, 18 (NLT)
We all need a spiritual checkup once in a while; a time to look at our walk with the Lord and ask ourselves, “Am I on the right path? Am I doing what the Lord wants for me?” If your spiritual checkup finds you in need of some fine tuning, remember that the Great Physician is only a prayer away.
A Stander in Nebraska