Measuring Maturity

… everyone paints devotion (to God) according to his own passions and preferences.
– Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

I just finished reading some of this fellow’s writings.  I’ll paraphrase an insight I found interesting.

Some people love to pray so in their eyes Christians who pray little are little Christians.  Some love to serve God with their hands and may condemn those who pray for the hungry instead of bringing them bread.  Some have a heart to give and are generous with their goods but miserly with kindness or forgiveness.  We tend to put greater spiritual value on those Christian disciplines we find most fulfilling.  While all these activities are good none are the true measure of our spiritual depth.

The Bible is clear that our love for God and for one another is the only accurate test of our spiritual life.  No gifts, no sacrifice, no spiritual disciplines makes up for an unloving heart – 1 Cor 13.  It is strange, then, how some can behave unlovingly – even being judgmental and critical – toward one who does not pray as often, give as liberally, fast as regularly or serve as diligently as we do.

Thank God for those who work with their hands.  You can pray for them.  Thank God for those who pray.  Their prayers could be making your efforts even more effective.  Each member has its function and specialty.  Like a body, all the parts do their thing, what they were designed to do, and together it all happens.

Love God.  Love others.  It is enough.

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