How do you define progress in your spiritual life? And more importantly, how do you think Jesus would define it? Think about that for a moment. In fact, make a list of both and see how similar—and how different—they are.
Were the words poor in spirit or meek or merciful on your list? How about hungry and thirsty or pure in heart or persecuted? How about least or last or selfless or humble? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control make your list? The fact of the matter is that Jesus’ definition of progress in the spiritual life is often much different from our own, so it is probably a good idea for us to try and get on the same page. That way we can actually look at our lives and determine whether we are, in fact, becoming more like Jesus or not.
The older I get, the more I am coming to believe that when I think about myself less, I am actually just beginning to make some progress. When I care less about what other people think and care more about what God thinks. When I begin to let go of what I know and begin to embrace the fact that I really don’t know much of anything. When I am more content with being unseen and unnoticed—because I am fully seen and fully noticed by Jesus—rather than always trying to be the center of attention. When I finally start to listen more than I speak. When being loving becomes more important than being right. When I stop climbing up and allow Jesus to lead me down. When I stop wondering so much about who I am, and become more concerned with whose I am.
Those are the types of things I’m trying to pay attention to these days. What about you?