Weather permitting, I’ll be visiting my doctor today for an annual physical. Thankfully, I’ve got every reason to believe that everything will be in order. But still, I’m grateful for the opportunity to make sure that no unexpected problems are emerging, and I hope to get some helpful guidance that will allow me o identify the longer-term health goals that I should be pursuing.
Of course, while many of us seek out appropriate opportunities to examine our physical health, I wonder how many invest a similar degree of care in evaluating our spiritual health. Oh sure, we’re willing to run to the Great Physician when there’s a problem: when we’re sin-sick or broken in heart. But are we intentional about consulting Him on a regular basis, simply to monitor the state of our soul: to make sure that no “un-Christ-like” attitudes or habits are creeping into our lives — and to identify the specific spiritual goals that will enable our transformation?
One of the challenges, of course, is that physical health can be evaluated objectively in a way that most of us assume spiritual health cannot. We know how to measure our pulse and blood pressure — our weight and cholesterol level. But how are we to assess our faith and joy — our peace and obedience level? Then again, over the years I’ve seen several excellent tools that have attempted to provide precisely this kind of feedback; and for better or worse, none of them have caught on. But was that because they didn’t provide valuable and helpful insight, or because many of us aren’t eager to embrace the kind of accountability that an “annual spiritual check-up” would entail?
Psalm 139 says:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (verses 23-24)
May we regularly (and eagerly) place our hearts and lives in the caring hands of our Great Physician; and may He reveal to us the steps we need to take, so that His grace can more completely remake us in the image of His Son.