“There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity.”
Today’s Scripture reading comes from Matthew 7:24, quoting from the NASB:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
I have to think that deep down inside most of us typically have a sense of how to respond to adversity and challenging circumstances.
So the question isn’t what should I do, but how will I choose to respond? Will I succumb to the demands of the event or will my response come forth from the foundation of my sum total of spiritual development?
Jesus said that everyone who hears and acts on His words is wise. That wise one will be the person all eyes turn to in the midst of tragedy and need. His or her response will generally tell all. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (see Matthew 7:25).
Often, it is not the tragedy that determines the strength of our spiritual foundation; it is the aftereffects. The strength of our building materials will be revealed in how our life of faith is lived out. In the leader’s case, how we walk in view and out of view of the public’s eye will speak volumes about what we truly believe and the source of our strength.
It has been said, “There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity.” For the believer, the culmination of life changing experiences, hammered out through systematic, daily practices, produces maturity. This growth is undergirded by implementing God’s truths and by adding layer upon layer of foundational servant leadership. When I was a child, we played a game called “Follow the Leader.” As an adult, it is not a game. The world is watching, and those in our sphere of influence will follow our lead.
Consider Jesus’ words: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (see Matthew 7:26). In these days of rapid-fire media and handheld media devices, word travels fast.
The servant leader’s challenge is to display a Christ-like response when life changing moments arise, and thus be seen as the “wise man” with a firm foundation. Consider these practices of one who strives daily to live a foundational servant leader lifestyle.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 4 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
The Servant Leader…
- Acts on the teachings of Scripture and helps others do likewise.
- Models biblical living and lives out his/her faith wisely in front of others (see Matthew 7:24).
- Serves as a ready testimony, realizing that he can do nothing apart from Christ (see Philippians 4:13).
- Displays faithful actions that enable one to withstand the potentially destructive effects of adversity (see Matthew 7:25).
It’s time for a quick monthly evaluation. Point your browser to ocfusa.org/LDNpodcast or click here to download the monthly reflection sheet. Use the reflection sheet to help gauge your habit of integrating faith and profession, and to help get you into the habit of keeping a written record of those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.