Monday, May 5, 2014

The Evidence of Progress

I was sitting on the fourth pew of a small Rio de Janeiro church. Our row was almost full and I was sitting between my cousin and my sister. Two acquaintances joined us and one of them started talking to my cousin. I smiled at her. All of a sudden she started starring at me. The surprised expression of her face transferred to her voice as she said, "Cintia I did not recognize you! You have lost so much weight!" All of the effort I put towards losing weight was bearing fruit. It was evident that I was making progress because I was visibly a different person.
This morning I am encouraged to keep making progress in my spiritual journey. Much like in my health journey, there is evidence to be seen and enjoyed by those around me.
In 1 Timothy 4 Paul is encouraging Timothy to be an example in word, conduct, love, in spirit, faith and purity. He goes on to say "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all." 1 Timothy 4:15

I believe that when my spiritual progress is evident to all, my words and my conduct will be an expression of that progress. Timothy was a leader and as a mother I am leading my children. I believe that my home is the first and main place where the benefits of my spiritual progress can be experienced and enjoyed. 
I also learn from this passage that meditation and total dedication precede progress. In order for me to be almost unrecognizable to my peers because of my health change, I thought about my process and dedicated myself entirely to it. I believe the same structure applies to my spiritual discipline journey. 
In order to be an example in word, conduct, love, in spirit, faith and purity, it is necessary to be dedicated to God's way of doing things by meditation and spiritual discipline.

This kind of spiritual progress will bring glory to God and will help my family first and others second. I am certain that my family can benefit from encouraging words. I know they can benefit from my peaceful, kind conduct. God gets glorified when His children resemble Him in every way. 

This kind of progress is not about selfish purposes but it is about embracing Godly character and conduct. 
Have you ever given yourself entirely to a process and found success at the end? How can this approach help you in your spiritual journey?

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