I love photography for two reasons. First, I love capturing light and images and special moments that I can share and re-live. The one to the left is a recent sample.
Second, taking pictures puts me on the right side of the camera. As long as I can stay away from that nosy lens, I can imagine that I actually look the way I do when I look at myself in the mirror. No awkward angles. No unflattering poses. No ruthless inventory of how I really look.
The same kind of thing happens in the spiritual realm. There are plenty of ways to pose so that we get a flattering, but dishonest look at ourselves. That’s unhealthy for two reasons. First, it can put us in denial of something that can really hurt us in the long run. Second, it can produce shame that blinds us to our great, great value to God and to the world.
How would you like a strategy for taking an honest inventory of your heart and soul?
Maybe I should phrase that a different way…
Do you need a strategy for taking an honest inventory of your heart and soul? I don’t really care whether you want it or not.
Here are eight questions that can turn the lights on in your spiritual life. They can be used alone or together. You can go through them in 15 minutes, or an hour, or an entire day. The questions are based on Paul’s energetic series of charges to the Thessalonians:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22).
Take a few minutes or however long you can. Get alone with a journal, legal pad, or an electronic tablet and write down some notes based on your first response to these questions: [click to continue…]