A Necessary Personal Holiness Assessment To Begin Prior To 2021George Shamblin
“You never drive more cautiously than the day you realize your tag is expired.”– Dan Roberts
In Ephesians 4:1 Paul implores Christ-followers to “walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel with which you have been called.” I’ve often shared that verse with tons of people challenging them to do the following:
Seek out a handful of people closest to you for insights into potential blind spots that might exist in your life, and suggest ways in which you might grow as a believer. For instance, are there any areas in your life that hinder your walk with Christ or harm your witness for Christ? Additionally, where do the greatest opportunities exist for your personal growth in the faith?
I emphasize how important it is to allow plenty of time for those individuals to mull over their insights. This process is not designed to be rushed or frenzied, but rather methodical so that truth may best be spoken into your life. Additionally, I stress on the front the need to be “teachable.” This exercise will be ineffective otherwise.
That’s been an incredibly easy challenge for me to give out to others for years for obvious reasons. What’s not been easy is seeing that chicken come back to roost when it pertains to my life. In a sense you could say my hand was forced compelling me to create a Personal Holiness Assessment Inventory.
After drafting the Inventory, I gave it out to a mentor, a mentee, a co-worker, a pastor, a sibling, all four of my children, and my wife Jill. Within four weeks I sat down with each person to go over their observations and suggestions. Some of the feedback stung, others made me happy. When all was said and done I resolved to imitate the Psalmist who prayed, “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 everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
My challenge today is for you to do no less. DO NOT WAIT until December 31st to start. That will be too late! Begin now, and please feel free to cut, copy, paste, tweak, or toss from the Sample Inventory below that I gave to my wife.
TO BE COMPLETED BY JILL
As I move forward into 2021 my deepest desire is to know and receive more of the living Jesus than ever before: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1st Corinthians 2:2) But before I can go forward in that endeavor I must make an honest assessment of exactly where I am at present. I must be open to the real possibility that a disconnect exists between where I think I am and where others see me. I must be open to the real possibility that just like a rearview mirror, blind spots may well be present. Who better to give me perspective than some of the people closest to me? Like those who see me when and where nobody else does. Like those who see behind any mask that might last the better part of any given day but comes off at home. Like those who look, observe, and assess more than anyone else because they see me the most. Like a friend, a co-worker, my children, and most importantly you my sweet wife.
I’ve put together some questions below for you to consider, to pray over, and to answer about me. We can get together in two weeks to discuss over coffee. I look forward to gaining new insights that will help me better become the pastor, friend, father, and husband that God intends me to be and to thereby “walk worthy.”
- What disconnects do you observe between my belief system and actions?
- Do I do anything that embarrasses you or the kids?
- Are there any idiosyncrasies/love busters that you could bring to my attention?
- Do you feel like you are clearly in 1st Place in my life? If not, in what ways does that come out?
- In what ways have I caused you hurt in the last year?
- What are 3 specific things I can do to make you feel more cherished and loved?
- What would you hope to see me do more of or stop doing altogether?
- Is there anything else you would like to share?
Jill, thanks in advance for loving me enough to speak truth into my life and “spurring me on towards love and good deeds!” Hebrews 10:24
In closing, there’s a story about a simpleton sitting one evening at the river’s brink. A traveler came up wishing for his company in crossing. “No,” replied the simpleton, “I’m waiting till the river flows past.” There will never be a perfect day to start striving for Christ-likeness, so don’t wait for it. Today is as good of a day to begin as any. It’s been said “tomorrow is a lazy man’s labor and a fool’s repentance.” In other words, don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.