Want to Grow Spiritually? Slow Down!

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

According to James, we are deceiving ourselves about what we believe in our hearts when we read the bible, known intellectually what it says, and go out and ignore it in practice. So how do we not turn away from this uncomfortable mirror and promptly forget what we looked like and keep on as we are?

In our instant culture and world, we often react by habit and by impulse. If our habits are godly, that is great. If our habits are indistinguishable from our impulses, that’s not so great. Contrary to what we often like to think, we are most likely to react from the fallen sinful flesh when we’re go-go-going rather than being led by the spirit as we hope to be, or at least like to think we are.

Unfortunately for our time, the spirit walk still requires stopping to plug into God and sync our hearts to him. We have to stop and think rather than letting our hearts take the lead. As our “why the heck did I do/say that?” regrets after the fact testify, our hearts aren’t always on the same page as our minds are with what our hearts believe and what our heads believe. So we have to stop and think it through and deliberately act according to what we know to be true. Such discipline, along with prayer and the work of the spirit, is the path to godly habits and hearts that aren’t holding dirty secrets from us anymore.

If only it didn’t take so much time, huh? What is most important to us, keeping up with the rest of our crazy world, or spiritual growth?

Lord, ouch. Strengthen me in discipline. You know I am weak of mind here and prone to be driven by impulse. Check me in my spirit, remind me to stop and pray about it, to mentally search your scriptures for what your way is. Open my spiritual ears to hear you, give me a heart that seeks you. In Jesus’ name, amen.