The process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others
Tonight I’m going to step away from Colossians 3, we’ll get back to that later.
The quote above is Robert Mulholland’s definition of spiritual formation. When I first read that quote I did not understand the last five words. What did my spiritual health have to do with other people? It took me a long time to figure that out. Tonight I was reminded of the importance of that part of the definition. Someone I care a great deal about came to me in a really bad state. I’ve never been great at dealing with a crisis. As a matter fact, I tend to run as far away from them as I can possibly go or go into panic overdrive mode. God has shown me in the last few years that He actually designed me in a way that I can handle and be there in the tough situations. Surprise, surprise. Tonight this person needed me, they needed calm and steady. If you know me, the Melody you’re used too or the one you probably remember is really dramatic, emotional and fragile. Hallelujah, I’m not that person anymore. That is thanks to an amazing God in my life and He has been revealing the true me a little bit by little bit every day, I was able to be here for this other person and bring a little light when they needed it.
I’ve been talking a lot lately about how God needs to be our focus, and I am not backing down from that truth, but there is more. He designed us for community. He designed us to love Him and each other. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31). There’s a purpose in our spiritual growth, it is for us to grow stronger and learn who we truly are, it is for us to grow in greater relationship with the Lord who loves us and it is also so that we may be strong for others.
Maybe there somebody in your life right now who needs you, someone who needs you to hold their hand or to listen or to speak. Tonight I did a bunch of all of that. Who is it that God has brought into your life for their needs? Reach out to them. If they live with you, go talk to them. If they don’t, call them. Maybe you need to write a letter or an email or paint a picture. Where is your heart leading you? What is God telling you about this person, about that relationship? How can you be there for them tonight, tomorrow and in the future? How can you continue to grow as yourself and also do it for others?