1 Timothy 6:11

Last night, my family and a couple Zach’s House friends went bowling. I averaged around 130 pins knocked down on each game. We felt pretty inadequate bowling next to the super studs from the varsity bowling team at a local High School. I overheard this one kid say at the end of the night, “I don’t feel like I accomplished anything.” He was speaking of this evening of bowling. I couldn’t believe my ears. This kid had just finished bowling a 216 and had earlier bowled a 231. If I could ever bowl a 216, I would be amazed at my accomplishment.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spiritual growth. That’s always a big desire of mine and it should be. I was thinking about it in relation to a Bible class I’m leading the discussion for tonight. I can always bring some trivial tidbits to our Bible discussions; I have great commentaries filled with those. I can get a bunch of discussion going if I just shut up and let one of our talented guys in the class speak. I’m not much of a dictator so most everyone gets their say. But I always remember that all the Bible knowledge in the world doesn’t matter if we don’t grow spiritually.

I really want those in our Bible class to grow. I need to find out from those in our class where they are lacking and what spiritual attributes they would like to see increased in their lives. There needs to be accountability. How does that occur? Do some of us even want to make known the spiritual aspects of our lives where we struggle? I want to make those areas known, but it’s scary to take the charge towards openness. What does all this have to do with bowling?

One reason we don’t admit our spiritual struggles to others, which is one of the first steps to grow in those areas, is because our little baby steps towards spiritual maturity often feel like no accomplishment at all. And if we feel that way, others must feel identical about our baby steps. Better not admit anything then, or just admit something very generic and non-threatening. I’ve admitted to you, readers of these tidbits, my struggles with self-control in regard to my eating. I’ve admitted my struggles with anger towards my family. My accomplishments in those areas may seem great to others, but I’m not so easily impressed. I can do so much more and allow God to do so much more in my life.

Our Bible verse says to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. These are some mighty spiritual attributes we should have. Paul doesn’t tell Timothy go possess these immediately. He says “Pursue.” That is the key. We shouldn’t feel bad if we pursue and don’t obtain on our timetable. We should keep on trying to grow, that is the key I need to remember. Accomplishments don’t need to be great; they just need to be made.

Christian Graces, devo and blog, Encouargement

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