You go to church – or don’t. You have a Bible on the table and read it, sometimes. You pray – more than most, not as much as some. Your coworkers know you’re a Christian, and don’t seem to care too much. You don’t look or sound anything like Sam-or-Sally-SuperChristian, but that’s just not your personality. You believe God is real, but there are moments you do struggle with doubts about certain things.
Sometimes we all wonder if we’re doing this thing called the Christian life right. Even if you are certain of Jesus as your Savior, what kind of difference should that be making in your life now? Do you have to be “super-Christian” to be successful? How do you know?
When it comes to our relationship with God, checklists can be a little dangerous. He deals with each of us individually, and sometimes in very unique ways. His opinion is the only one that really counts. But a spiritual checkup every now and then is helpful.
Here are a few evaluation points that may help:
- Are Godly characteristics increasingly showing up in your life? Things like truthfulness, courage, kindness, honesty, forgiveness, joy, peace, and love. These aren’t characteristics you can develop by trying harder. They only develop as God works His transforming grace in your soul. If they’re showing up in your character, you know He’s at work.
- Are people around you being impacted in a positive way? It starts with your family: how do they respond when you’re around? What about the people you connect with at work, at church, at school, on social media? If people in trouble are drawn to you, it’s a good indication that God is working through you.
- Are your sins under control? That’s a tricky one. You certainly cannot white-knuckle it and “control” your sins. God’s forgiveness is real, and His grace covers you. But as you proceed through the Christian life you should not remain the same. God’s work in transforming your heart should be increasingly showing up in your outward behavior. If not, something’s wrong.
- Do you have a reason for living that is bigger than yourself? You cannot often see the whole picture of what God wants to do in and through your life. But the longer you know Him, the better you understand what His purpose for you is, even if that understanding is imperfect. And that purpose is always larger than just your own comfort. Are your energies being given, in some way, to the advance of His Kingdom?
- Is your relationship with God stronger now that when you began? The longer you know God, the stronger your bond with Him should be. You know Him better, hear Him better, love Him more.
Notice there’s nothing on this list about emotions, or church work, or religious activity. And it’s not a straight line: the Christian life has harder and easier seasons.
I pray you see evidence of your faith working today.
Your turn: How do you judge whether or not your Christian life is working? How do you feel about where you are on the journey? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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