Why do we lapse into retro-spirituality, thinking that our best days are behind us? I think the world’s model of Run > Reward > Retire > Rest has a lot to do with it.–Dr. David Jeremiah
We all hold dear a place in time (however brief) when things were, in our estimation, ideal. It has not been improved upon since. Whether it included real chrome on cars, “Leave It To Beaver” (on the first go-round) or a better economy; nothing can top that period in our lives. Not so in the spiritual world. We should not be living in the past (“glory days”) when it comes to spiritual things. Paul wrote,
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13,14
We tend to think the things we ought to forget about are only those things which are negative–failures, disappointments, frustrations. But part of what is also to be left “behind” are old accomplishments, accolades, and acquisitions. If there was anyone who had accumulated an impressive resume’ of all of those, it was Paul! What he is saying here in other words is, don’t “rest upon your laurels.” Your spiritual self today should be state of the art…it should be “new and improved” every moment! When we refer to growth and spiritual activity in our lives, we should not be referring much to what took place in the last year…or decade. We should have current and fresh fruit and victories worth mentioning.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul addressed with disapproval those who ought to have matured in Christ, but were not manifesting healthy growth. We naturally expect our little ones to outgrow the baby talk, diapers, pacifiers and booster seats. If we see someone in their teens who still takes nourishment from a bottle, we consider this abnormal. The same is true of us spiritually. Growth is normal…the absence of it is abnormal.
How about you? If you were asked about a significant thing you learned from the scriptures, how far back would you have to remember? If someone inquired about the last time you offered a gospel witness to a lost person, how recent would that have been?
Here is an excellent devotional on the topic by Dr. David Jeremiah’s Turning Points magazine. Call 1-800-947-1993 for a free complimentary copy.