Living a life sold out for God requires much fine-tuning. We have to consistently take inventory of our actions, behavior, thoughts, habits, prayer life, the list goes on, just to make sure we don’t fall off track. I’m not referring to falling off as in just making a mistake; we all sin every day. I mean falling off by allowing doubt to seep in and losing faith in God and/or the promises He’s made to us. Once we catch on fire for Him, it is our responsibility to do what it takes to stay lit.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1Thessalonians 5:11
In this letter, the apostle Paul writes to the Thessalonians to ensure that their faith is not failing. He knows their commitment to a lifestyle grounded in truth, however, he is also aware of the opposition imposed on them due to their belief. His main focus is that their faith is not weakened by their sufferings. Paul made the lives of other people his business. His calling was to share the gospel and ultimately eternal life. When his commitment to his calling resulted in persecution by the threat of his life, he fled Thessalonica but remained in contact with the people of that town so that his Kingdom work was not in vain.
Like Paul, we should be so committed to our brothers and sisters in Christ that we sow into them, and follow up to see that seed manifest and grow. It may feel like we are being burdensome, but if we are encouraging in love rather than condemning in judgment, then people are more willing to receive. It is important to know the difference between the two.
I noticed how frustrated I get when someone asks me when my next blog post will be. The idea of someone challenging my productivity irritated me. I would throw a million comebacks at them like, “you don’t know my schedule,” and, “I can’t just write anything, I have to be inspired.” And while it is true that I make sure what I am writing comes from God and not out of necessity to fill the space on your computer screen, I cannot become upset with those are simply pulling for my best self. I am now realizing that these people care about me, they enjoy the messages I share and are simply holding me accountable.
In order to receive proper feedback, we have to know the people in our circle share the same values. We have to establish a core accountability source whether it be with one or two people or a group of believers who are standing in this faith walk together. It is so easy to run to your Day 1’s with your challenges, but are they following the same path as you now that you have matured in Christ? We have to have mentors and friends who push us to be better and not revert back to old, unhealthy habits.
Let’s do some spring cleaning. Evaluate what is inside of you and purge of those things that are toxic and that are not beneficial to your growth. Look at the people in your core circle, the ones that you seek advice from and depend on during crises. Do they challenge you to make the best decision or hold you in a box of familiarity? Ask God for accountability partners who will sharpen you into being more like Him. I promise you life will become easier once you learn that you are not in this thing alone.