Go into any bookstore and ask to be directed to the “self-help aisle,” and you will find yourself surrounded by books entitled “(Fill-in-the-blank) for Dummies.”
The topics will vary. There will be books about computers, plumbing, basketball, cooking and even theology. People are willing to buy and read the book if it will help them improve in certain areas of life where they need the most help.
That leads me to this question: Where do I need the most improvement in my life?
I’m not looking for a large group of “friends” to form a single-file line to begin telling me their opinion. Rather, I want to ask the Lord to guide me to see the areas where I need the most help.
I can give you a list of things that I do not do well, and I’m not the least bit embarrassed by it. I don’t do much in the way of car repairs. I avoid plumbing at almost any cost. I do not sew. I am not a good artist, no matter the genre.
I am certain that my family and friends could double the length of my list in two minutes flat.
But I am seeking to go in another direction with this. Where are the areas in my life that need the most improvement in order effectively to serve the Lord? I know that I need better to listen to others. I need to control my anger (though I do not have outbursts, my attitude can be sour at times). I need to become more compassionate. I need to grow in my prayer life.
But I return to my first thought. What I think on these issues is not nearly as important as what the Lord thinks. I need to learn to listen for his voice so that I can know where he wants me to work. Sometimes, he will use other believers to help me find my way. More often, he will use the Scriptures to guide me. At times, I simply will come to the conclusion that this is the way he wants me to go (taking for granted that this way is not in contradiction to the Bible).
Whatever the case may be, I want to continue to grow in my Christian walk. I want to be more like Christ next year than I was last year. To sum it up, I want to finish well. I have been alive for 54 years, a Christian for 45 of those years and a pastor for 31 of those years. I long to be better each year going forward.
And I pray the same thing for you. God wants each of us to finish well. That requires commitment today.
Are you willing to take the first step? Let’s go forward in growing in our faith.