We live in a quick fix society. Whatever we go through, if it involves any discomfort or pain or change in our status quo, we want it to end immediately. Commitment and perseverance are virtues that have fallen by the wayside. “Superficiality,” writes Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline,” is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem.”
Society also teaches me that whatever is wrong in my life, it is not a result of anything I have done. “Don't blame yourself,” society forgives, “someone else caused this to happen. You couldn't help it.” It is time that I take responsibility for what I am, what I believe, what I say, and how I act. I am not responsible for circumstances over which I have no control, and it would be self-defeating for me to analyze the cause of each one, but I am responsible for how I respond to failures, trials, problems and life. I am totally responsible for my reaction.
Spiritual growth in Christ is convicting. It doesn't allow me to make excuses. It tells me that I must take responsibility for my bad attitude or my fly-off-the-handle reaction. It means that I will learn from my failure, and make every effort to not create that circumstance again. Spiritual maturity also tells me that the next time I am faced with circumstances either of my own making or not of my own making, I will react in a mature way that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The only way that I can have the fruit of the Spirit alive in my life is to allow all the selfishness of myself to be crucified with Christ. When I am willing to make this selfless journey, when I am willing to accept my responsibility for all that I am, and when I am realize that without Him I cannot become my true self, then I have begun the journey to grow deep in Him.
“The desperate need today,” Richard Foster concludes with his thought about superficiality, “is not for a greater number of people or intelligent people, or gifted people, but for a deep people.” I want to go deeper into His Word, and His Truth. I want my life to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and my mind to be renewed. I yearn for the virtues that Peter writes about in 2 Peter 1:3-7—those spiritual qualities of diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness, brotherly kindness, and love!
Are you tired of easy answers that over no lasting peace? Are you tired of not rising above the things that hit you in the face? Take responsibility for who you are, and ask Him to continually make you new. In your own journey, you will discover the freedom that comes with spiritual growth and accountability. No more masks. You will know that where the Spirit of God is, you have been set free. And those who are free, are free indeed!