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Friday, January 14, 2011

Challenge of the Day: Celebrate Spiritual Growth

When I was little I used to sing all the time.  Whitney Houston, New Edition, Michael Jackson, I loved it all.  And I really thought I was good at it too.  I remember one sunny afternoon jumping on the trampoline singing my little heart out when our neighbor peeped over the fence and exclaimed, "Oooo girl, Whitney Houston better watch out!"  At that point in my life, she wasn't telling me something I didn't already know.  I was confident in my skills. 

Well over time my confidence was shaken a little.  I decided I probably didn't have the range of Whitney, but I figured I could still be Chili from TLC.  However the older I got, and the more opportunities I had to hear real singers sing up close and personal, the more my delusion crumbled before me. See, a great singer on the radio is nothing compared to a great singer standing right in front of you.  But even when I realized I would never reach Mariah's status, I never stopped singing. 

Many of us go through similar situations on our spiritual journeys.  We go through life thinking we are great people.  We don't hurt others, we don't steal, and we are productive members of society.  Then one day we hear about Jesus and our confidence is shaken a little.  We realize we are not perfect but we settle for being "good enough", status quo, acceptable.  Then one day we see Jesus and our delusion crumbles.  You see it's one thing to hear about a Jesus that delivers, and it's quite another to see the ex-addict for yourself.  We can read about the love of Christ, but it's nothing compared to witnessing the ex-prostitute shouting and shedding tears of joy.  If you haven't experienced this yet, I guarantee one day you will be confronted with the humility, love, kindness, joy and patience that can only come from Christ himself, and it will transform your life. 

But I warn you, it is easy to be discouraged when we encounter the Spirit of Christ.  We think that we can never live up to His standard and are tempted to give up.  But I encourage you to keep singing.  Don't quit.  Some weeks will be better than others.  We will spend a lot of time in prayer and we will never stop repenting.  But we will continue to grow in Christ, and God celebrates growth.  So take some time out today to celebrate your spiritual growth.  You may not be where you're gonna be, but you're definitely not where you used to be!

Celebrate and I'll celebrate with you.  Love you!

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