Growing Pains, Pt. 4 | “Participation (Time)”

What Do You Value?

If looking at your checkbook will give you an idea of where and for what your money is being spent, what will determine where and for what you life is being spent? The simple truth, I believe, is that what we give to most is what, in the end, we value most. This is not a comment of judgment, but a reality. When I look at what I do with these few precious moments that I have been given in and on this world, I have to ask, “What good is coming of my being here?” When the time comes for all of us, and it will, when we will breath our last, will what we remember be memories of a life filled with years or years filled with life?

Being a Christian means that we have made a choice. Whether we understood it completely or not the choice was made. It was a choice to live by a certain code of morals, ethics and values. The choice was to change the way we were living our lives because we had met someone who had a better way. A vote of confidence in Jesus is a vote of no confidence in ourselves-that we cannot find the best way, let alone live that way on our own. I think that it is an injustice to new Christians not to explain this to them. If a plant is not growing or bearing fruit the assumption is that it must be dead.

How are you doing?

Growth Does Not Happen In a Vacuum

If there is genuine desire to have the choice we made reflected in our lives, time must be spent learning, practicing and doing what we have said is something important in our lives. In the same way that a baby must be fed and encouraged to walk, even though parents know they will fall, is because there will come a time when the parent will not be around. And when that time comes will the child be ready? All of us are children of God. Some of us are still babes, still trying to figure things out. Others are putting the things that they have learned into practice. And still others are now the teachers bringing their lives full circle.

So, are we supposed to come to church everyday? The answer is “Yes” and “No.” We are all encouraged to come because this is where fellowship, ministry, service, and growth happen. So yes, this is where all that is supposed to take place. But the answer is also “No” because we are not always able, but is there a desire to still be there? Coming to church or not coming to church should not feel like a guilt trip. If it does, then there are issues the must be addressed. I am not always able to come to my home church, but that does not mean that I will not go somewhere else if I can. Able or not, go because you must.

Take Part In The Process

Participation is a growing pain because it demands that we reevaluate the time that we spend away from the things of God. I will grant that life as a Christian will seem overwhelming at times, but there is no substitute for time spent with God and with brothers and sisters in Christ. Being born again means that we have a new family with new values. We have to learn how to reprioritize our activities in ways that agree with what is important to God.

I encourage you to take an active part in the process of your spiritual growth and development. In a lot of ways faith is a real muscle that must be exercised and the gym for proper training is the church. Take part in the process because it will take the rest of your life, and feel confident that if you make church time a priority in your life there is going to be a lasting, positive effect in your life and in the life of those around you.

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