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Posts Tagged ‘die to live’

One of the biggest mistakes people make in planning a project is that they rarely figure out how to measure their success (or failure). How do you measure your progress? When we were children, many of our parents measured our growth by marks on a door frame. Up and up and up the pencil marks would go. But what about our spiritual lives? Can we measure our growth, our commitment, or our change?

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Luke 6:38-39, NIV]

measureAre we using the money we give as a measure of our commitment or our sacrifice in the things of God? I am not saying this is a good thing or bad one, I’m just asking.

In the “world,” more often than not, it’s the norm: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” It’s a kind of joke, a bumper sticker that had it’s day some years back, and yet, the accumulation of wealth and stuff continues. Western cultures, particular, measure by salaries, investments, houses and neighborhoods, travel and vacations, labels, and let us not forget, cars.

I remember the embarrassment I felt when my half-sister (twenty years my senior) from Estonia had an opportunity to visit us in our home and she was befuddled as to why we had rooms in which their primary function was to sleep. She, with her three room apartment, no running hot water and a wood stove for cooking, raised a child and later housed that same adult child, his wife, and their two children. Every room, every inch of their apartment was multi-purpose.

The other day, I looked outside my front door and saw five cars parked outside our house. Every adult in our home has his or her own car.

all inSo, let me get back to the question of measuring the depth of the soul.

Am I really sold out to Christ, am I all in? Who would know? How do I know? Is it because I tithe now or attend services faithfully or volunteer each week? Are these viable measures? Or perhaps it’s the minutes I pray or read the Bible? Perhaps I memorize verses or know how to open my Bible to the chapter and verse without too much flipping. Perhaps I have kept score of the number of people who have come to Christ by my witness, my story, my relationships?

Being a believer or follower of Christ is not like getting a black belt in Tae Kwan Do or judo. There are no tangible tests.

It’s a way and a journey. It’s a marriage of sorts. It’s an intimacy. And each one is unique and different. So, why do we do all these things, these activities, these measurements? Because people have discovered through the years that our relationship with God can be enhanced. But honestly, it’s a bit of a crap shoot. But maybe, just maybe, this or that practice, will open the door wide to your heart and soul, and once it’s fully open, the Holy Spirit fills you.

And at that point, you simply are, because of I AM and you are bound. And all that is done is a natural outgrowth of that relationship. The surprise comes in the paradox. Give to receive, die to live.

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