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Annual Physical

August 11, 2014

So half the year is over already! Wow! Where does the time go?

As summer draws to a close, many of you are gearing up for the beginning of another school year, and that means shopping, packing, and saying “goodbye” to those you love. But for many of you, it also means those dreaded annual physicals.

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.

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 you’ve got to jump 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 you’re growing like you should be and meeting your “developmental milestones.”

Your spiritual health is more important than your physical health, so how are you doing? Are you growing in your relationship with God? Do you have any specific goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Have you met them? How is your progress? I know, I know, they’re uncomfortable questions, but you can’t really move forward in your relationship with God if you don’t ask those hard questions.

God wants to make sure that you are spiritually healthy. He, through the apostle Paul, put it this way: “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” (Colossians 1:9-12, NIV).*

Did you catch that? Paul actually addresses spiritual growth and then gives us several ways in which we can actually measure it; you 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 verbs/action words. So the question has to be asked: how are you doing?

If that hurts, then maybe you need to take some time to think deeply about this issue. I would suggest:

  1. Talk to God about it all. After all, He’s the only One who can fill you with “the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (verse 9).
  2. Ask a trusted friend, adult (parent, teacher, youth pastor, counselor).
  3. Then begin to make the changes you need to make (Philippians 2:12). But never forget that it is God who tells you what you need to work on (John 16:8), and it is He who ultimately gives you all the motivation and power to change (Philippians 2:13)!

If you want to get involved with God and live a joyful, powerful, and peaceful life to be able to share His love with others, then you’ve got to pass His physical.

Here’s to your good health.

 *Scripture quotations credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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