It was a bright morning. The sun seemed to shine a little brighter than the other days. I glanced at my watch. It was twenty minutes past 8’O Clock. Then I heard the familiar footsteps. I waited eagerly as the steps grew louder. Then it stopped. There was a knock on the door. Immediately the doorknob turned and the door opened. There was Dr. Naveen with his usual big (really big and lively) smile. He walked in with that grin still intact and as typical of him asked, “What’s the score, today?”
I had been in the hospital for almost a month. I had undergone a major surgery. The recuperation was slow and very unsteady in the beginning. After a week of the surgery, I went back on the recovery I had made until then. Family members, Church members and friends began to lose hope and thought they would lose me. The doctors for some time didn’t know what to do and waited for my body to respond to the treatment, which it did eventually. It is in this context that Dr. Naveen would come every morning (and also most evenings to check on my progress) and say, “What’s the score today?” literally referring to the progress of my health. They were all eager to see me back to health. The tone of the question was interrogative, positive, and joyful or with concern based on my report from the nursing team. The report being the collection of data of my blood pressure, body temperature, general progress, response to various medicines, etc.
The attitude of the doctor made me think. Progress meant happiness and joy while the opposite meant concern and finding a solution to reverse it to make the progress. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10 NIV). Isn’t God similarly concerned about our progress in life in our relationship with Him? He is also full of joy and happiness when we keep progressing. When we fail… He is also concerned and wants to help us to know the problem and correct it so that we can make progress.
God walked the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve everyday, helping them to understand Him and grow in their relationship with Him. The Bible says, “God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God, (Psalms 53:2 NLT).” In fact God is looking to us as Christians, to see how we progress in our lives. Apostle Paul was fully convinced of this when he said, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12, NIV).” He goes on to exhort young Timothy, “Be diligent …so that everyone may see your progress, (1 Tim 4:15 NIV).” Everyone here means that our growth will be evident to everyone – a light to the world that cannot be hidden.
Our greatest example to grow in every sphere of life and more importantly in our relationship with God is Jesus. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men, (Luke 2:52 NIV).” Even prophet Samuel was spoken of in similar terms (1 Sam 2:26). And God wants us to grow so that “…we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, (Eph 4:13 NIV).” Therefore we need to self-evaluate our lives daily in two aspects in order to make progress.
Self-evaluate in accordance with the Word of God.
The writer of Hebrews very clearly portrays, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, (Heb 4:12 NIV).” We need to spend time with God’s word on a daily basis. Doing so will help us know who we really are. Knowing this will help us to seek God to transform us in the likeness of His Son Jesus.
God as the creator correctly diagnoses our problems and wants to help us. But we need to be willing to hear His instructions. Only when we listen to the doctor’s diagnosis and treatment we become well. Similarly we need to accept God’s discipline so we can grow. “For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God, (Col 2:19 NLT).”
Self-evaluate in accordance with the Fruit of the Spirit.
The second aspect of self-evaluation is terms of the Fruit of the Spirit revealed in our lives. As seen earlier, the Christian life is a dynamic life with growth. Anything that grows needs nourishment to grow healthy and will also result in producing results. The growth in our Christian lives will produce, …”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, (Gal 5:22,23 NIV).” Paul goes on to say that as Christians we can bear only good fruit, “For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true, (Eph 5:9 NLT).” James goes on to say, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? (James 3:11 NIV).” He also says let wisdom and understanding be shown by, “good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom, (James 3:13 NIV)” because the wisdom from heaven is, “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere, (James 3:17 NIV).” The fruits in our lives will show whether we are growing according to how God wants us to grow. It will show if we are receiving the right nourishment to produce healthy fruits.
Let us therefore be careful how we live our life and self-evaluate our lives daily so that we may grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men. For the Lord is asking us, “What’s the score Today?”