Growing or Stunted part 2

When we are babies and young children our physical growth and health is a result of others in our life taking care of us, but when we become adults we choose more and more what we eat, how much we exercise, how much we rest, how overweight we are etc, our physical health is our responsibility. We use how we feel at any given time as a motivation to lose weight, exercise, or go to the doctor. We feel healthy, energized, alive, strong or we feel sick, and tired.

In the same way our growth in character, our inner person, and our spiritual life is a result of others in our life when we are children. I use the term “well parented” for young people who I see with good, godly character, and an obvious spiritual maturity. But as we become adults the responsibility for our character growth, the condition of our soul, and our relationship with God is more and more a result of the choices we make, and the discipline that we exert.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity,

Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the Word of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

So, how are you doing? How healthy is your soul? How intimate is your relationship with God? How do you feel, healthy or unhealthy? There are several key evaluators we can use to determine our health spiritually, one is our joy level. Psalms 16:11 says, “In the presence of God is fullness of joy”. The biggest misconception in the world today is that our joy comes from circumstances, if I can somehow have a trouble free, stress free, pain free life then I would be happy. Real joy comes only from God, and the absence of joy ought to be a strong motivation to change some things. Another key evaluator of our maturity is the health of our relationships with other people in our life. It is easy to blame others for relational conflicts, but spiritually healthy people whose character is growing have healthy relationships even with difficult, hard to love people.

So, the question again, “How are you doing?” And the most important question, “What are you going to do about it?”

I knew a person who had severe emphysema from smoking and pulled an oxygen bottle with them wherever they went wearing a mask, but they refused to quit smoking and would remove the mask a few minutes at a time in order to puff on a cigarette.

I see a lot of unhappy people running around in today’s world whose life is full of relational conflicts who just keep doing what they are doing, hoping that something will change, and somehow they will find joy and relational peace and love, but don’t do anything to help grow towards being a spiritually healthy person. It was sad to see the person with emphysema continuing to self-destruct their own health, but it is even sadder to see spiritually unhealthy people continue to self-destruct their own soul.

What can you do? Tomorrow.

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