As we get closer to starting Walls Down church, I am being reminded that the best gift I can give to those people that God will entrust me with is the gift of continual, spiritual & cognitive development.
I was reading St. Paul’s letter to Timothy the other day and came across some words that have stayed with me. In these verses, Paul is encouraging Timothy (a young pastor) to preach with courage and live with an awareness of his calling to ministry. And then he writes,
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:15-16 NIV).
A few thoughts from these verses:
- As people watch my life will they see change? Will they see a development/evolution of character? Maturity? Knowledge? Skill? Discipline? Will they see me progressing or will they see a slow stagnation and the eventual rotting of a man? I’ve known men and women, and so have you, that hit a point in their lives where they quit “progressing.” They kind of kicked into cruise control and were okay with that. I’m not. I will spend the rest of my life progressing.
Why is progress such a big deal? Because…
- People’s eternal destinies will be shaped by how I live and what I teach! That’s pretty sobering! This is no cause for pride or presumption. This is a cause for humility, continual self-evaluation, intense prayer, and a rigorous self-development plan!
While these reflections are somewhat personal in nature, they are still completely applicable to you. If you are in any kind of leadership position… if anyone is watching you… if you are a parent, a pastor, a coach, a teacher, etc. you are also responsible to for your own continual spiritual and cognitive development!
Don’t stop evolving! If you do, you will lose and so will everyone who looks to you.