How do you know you’re on track spiritually?
The mannerisms and expressions on the faces of the district managers as they gathered at the regional office for the monthly meeting always betrayed who was anxious and who was confident.
As Regional Director for a national company, it was my responsibility, along with my partner, to each month pour through the P&Ls (profit and loss statements) for the region, an area spanning 55 locations divided into five districts led by the men taking seats around the table. Each District Manager (DM) would have their turn in the spotlight as we examined the performance of the facilities and personnel they had oversight responsibility for.
As we examined each facility by district, we would look at how we could build on successes, but also identify what the problems were, and the DM would be expected to turn in a written plan of improvement for under-performing locations within a couple days.
Gauging success as an organization and as leaders was about more than financial reports. We would also examine KPI’s, or key performance indicators, for every location and district. These were items we had identified were crucial for us to be consistent in to attain our goals as a region. If we were on track with meeting or exceeding our key performance indicators, then we were usually on track with achieving our goals overall.
It’s vital for a business that wants to be “successful” and maintain robust organizational health to routinely examine itself. By examining key performance indicators, a business can learn how to further exploit their strengths for continued or greater success, and how to identify and correct weaknesses before they become problems or turn into failures.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had something like key performance indicators for being a Christian? Wouldn’t it be valuable to us to have measures that indicate whether or not we are healthy spiritually?
The Apostle Paul supplies us with a set of spiritual “key performance indicators” in his writing to the Galatians. First, he identifies indicators of spiritual failure (sin), and then he shows us characteristics that reflect positive spiritual development:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:19-23.
When we walk with God, the Holy Spirit produces beneficial fruit in our lives. We know we are on the right track as a follower of Christ when we see these spiritual fruits produced and growing in us.
As a child of God, you’re not building a business, you’re building something more important: your life! As important as that is, it’s worth building into your life routine times for self-examination to help you take stock of your personal spiritual health.
What are you currently doing to gauge your personal spiritual development? How could you benefit by building into your life regular times of self-examination?