August 30, 2019

Annual Physical

So summer is nearly over. Wow! Where does the time go?

As summer draws to a close, those who are students (or parents) are gearing up for the beginning of another school year. That means shopping, packing, and saying goodbye to those we love. For many, it also means those dreaded annual physical exams.

(I have it on good authority that doctors purposely put their stethoscopes in the freezer, and when they get together they laugh about the look on your faces when it touches your skin. I know, not cool!)

I can’t imagine that anybody would enjoy going to the doctor to get poked, prodded, or punctured; but it’s just another hoop that has to be jumped through to go to school or play sports.

Physical examinations are important for two reasons:

  • Preventive medicine: to catch any problems while they’re still small and manageable.
  • Track development: to make sure we’re growing as we should and meeting our “developmental milestones.”

Our spiritual health is more important than our physical health, so how are we doing? Are we growing in our relationship with God? Do we have specific goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year? Have we met them? How is our progress? I know, they’re uncomfortable questions, but we can’t move forward in our relationship with God without proper answers to those hard questions.

God wants to make sure that we are spiritually healthy. He put it this way through the apostle Paul: “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Col 1:9-12).

Did you catch that? Paul actually addresses spiritual growth, then gives us several ways in which we can actually measure it; we might call them “developmental milestones.” Let’s break them down individually.

Goal: to live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way.

Developmental Milestones:

  • bearing fruit in every good work
  • growing in the knowledge of God
  • being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might as evidenced by great endurance and patience
  • giving joyful thanks to the Father

Whoa! I’m tired just reading that list! Did you notice that being a healthy, growing Christian involves a lot of doing? I counted four action words. So the question has to be asked: how are we doing?

If that hurts, we need to take some time to think deeply about this matter. I suggest:

  • Talk to God about it. After all, He’s the only One who fills us with “the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (verse 9).
  • Ask a trusted friend.
  • Begin making the necessary changes (Phil. 2:12). Never forget that God tells us what we need to work on (John 16:8), and He ultimately gives us the motivation and power to change (Phil. 2:13).

If we want to be close to God and live a joyful, powerful, and peaceful life to share His love with others, we have to pass His physical.

Here’s to your good health!

Know Jesus. Love Jesus. Live Jesus!

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.