by Ed Pincusoff
If you've ever had to chase a leak, you know that water does not always travel in a straight line. That drip may show up to do its damage after a serpentine path that may have started, well, just about anywhere. That analogy came to my mind as I considered the most basic, skeleton crew, boiled down elements of living the faithful Christian life and how skipping spiritual basics has its price. I came to realize that the problems created by a chink in our spiritual armor are symptoms sometimes far removed from the genesis of the problem. And sometimes it seems that only God knows how a sinful habit, a character flaw, or a devaluation of truth started. But the damage is apparent and leaves us in a weakened state, compromising our worship, our ministry and fellowship.
We fully understand that the Christian life is, at its very highest, a love relationship with God. But the simple truth is that the Bible gives us many diagnostic tools to help us get and keep healthy in our walk, and it is foolishness to live life with a limp when God offers wholeness. Stated simply, we can’t always figure out where the leak (hurt and/or untruth) started, but God offers a whole new roof for our spiritual houses; a basement-to-rafters do-over that miraculously hunts down spiritual and emotional shrapnel lodged deep in a forgotten (or buried) past experience.
Here is the Biblical ‘life-line screening’. It will give you a baseline for spiritual health and begin the process of wellness. It will begin the dialogue that our Lord desires to have with you regarding some hurts that have been seemingly impossible to track down and bandage up. Remember, this is a spiritual work, so give it a go with adequate time, prayer and faith.
Note: You’ll notice that this is not about you getting something, but about where you place your attention, resources and your heart.
Acts 2:14-41 reveals two basic, pre-requisite, heart attitudes for a disciple of Christ. These are non-negotiable. Skipping them is a leak that results in damage. These heart attitudes are:
- Evangelism - Intentionally participating in the salvation of others.
- Baptism - Symbolic of dying to self and living to Christ, daily.
Acts 2:42 reveals four more foundational heart attitudes.
- Doctrinal Teaching - Intentionally growing deeper in Word understanding and practice.
- Fellowship - Extending God’s love to each other while together.
- Breaking of Bread - Remembering Christ’s sacrifice.
- Prayer - Nurturing relationship with God.
Although I have been focusing on individual spiritual health, these life principles also present a simple yet profound form of the church. Any time I have observed a healthy church they have been proclaiming the Gospel faithfully (every member) and practicing all of these essentials as important elements in the church’s life. Take any one of these essentials away from a church and it will cease to function properly. Focus all your energy on just one of these and the church will be out of balance and fall by the wayside.
Beloved, be encouraged to pursue Biblical balance in your life, and in our church. Is there a problem? Don’t just get a bucket, get balanced, honest, and healed. Let’s do it together!