I love my truck – named “Paco” by my daughter, who wishes it would one day be her truck. Good truck. Comfortable. Dependable. No serious flaws. The only issue Paco and I have – gas mileage. The truck, while good and dependable, can’t go very far on a tank of gas. In order for that to change I would need to do some major modifications or even rebuild the engine all together. But, if I want that truck to be able to do more, it will require more than wishful thinking.
The same thing is true on my life as a disciple of Jesus Christ (this post is something of a follow-up to the last one). In living out my life and following Jesus it’s important for me to look at what I could call my Spiritual M.P.G. – a measure of how much of my day/week/month are given to living as a fully committed follower of Jesus. I may be a good person. I may have an admirable outward appearance (spiritually speaking – physically is not what I want to talk about!). I may even be a person others are glad to be around. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have issues. Doesn’t mean I couldn’t go further or do more with Jesus than I already am. I could certainly use some improvement in my Spiritual M.P.G.
Some aspects are easily measured. For example, I can sign–in and be counted in worship. I can sign-in and be counted as part of a small group. I can give money to the church and they can give me a receipt showing I did. Very measurable activities of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
There are other activities I can track that are also good things to do as a disciple of Jesus. How often and how long do I pray? How many people have I spoken to about Jesus? Who have I told about the way God changed my life for the better? How many times in the past week have I willingly engaged in a conversation and spoke to the issue from a biblical perspective? Good things to track and try to improve on. They will somewhat increase my Spiritual M.P.G.
But what about the less tangible things God asks of me? What about the things that I need to be attentive to but can’t always measure well? In Romans 12:9-16 Paul writes these words:
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
I’m not sure how to measure how I am honoring others above myself, but I know I want to do that and do it more. Am I blessing those who persecute me? Am I staying zealous for the Lord? Am I willing to associate with people of low position – or better yet, people I might not hang around with if it weren’t for Jesus? Am I not conceited?
Some things are hard to measure but can really change our Spiritual M.P.G. The only way those things can be “modified” in my life as a disciple is to have people near me who know my heart. To have friends who will listen to my stories, encourage me in my efforts to do better, and, when necessary, call me out for not putting forth the effort to truly follow Jesus.
For me the bottom line is to measure what I can, track what is measurable, and meet regularly with people who are willing to know my heart and let me know theirs. Hopefully, the end result is a higher M.P.G.
What is your Spiritual M.P.G.?
Are you taking note of things you can measure?
Are you surrounding yourself with people who know you and love you and want to see your M.P.G. increase?
Maybe it’s time for an overhaul and some modifications.
If you need any help with these, let me know. We’ll work on it together — heart-to-heart.
Holy high-five to you,