PUSH YOURSELF

Monday, February 16, 2015

 Today’s Topic:  Character Evaluation

Today’s Text:  1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)  I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you mayu know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth.

I really pushed myself this morning. I am determined that I will stretch myself beyond my normal stopping point. I will no longer be done first.

You see, normally, I get done before others do. When I was a student in elementary school, I got my work done faster than anyone. It may not have been the best work, but it was fast. That carried over into my work habits, and my sports participation. Fast was always my goal: endurance never was.

Well, I’m going to work harder than ever to be done with that, and today I started. I could have quit after 7 reps in my third set, but the goal was 10. Everyone in my group would have cheered me if I had stopped at 5. When I hit 7 my legs were burning and shaking and the thought of quitting was powerful. But I took deeper breaths, set my heart on the finish line, and persevered through the pain and made it to 10.

Getting fit isn’t about being comfortable with our current status. We can only be satisfied with our present condition when we have previously decided that we have the right to self-define our fitness level. At some point we must admit there is someone much more qualified to define what fitness is, and it is only when we listen to them that we will start to make progress.

But that progress requires two things:

  1. An honest evaluation of our current status; and
  2. A determination to endure any pain to accomplish the Trainer’s goals.

This morning I stood on a machine that electronically measured my BMI, my muscle mass, and my body fat percentage. It wasn’t terrible, but it was humbling. Now, I have two choices. To be thankful that I am not all that messed up, or to be motivated to make what is messed up better. I choose the latter.

Yesterday I was really pushed as well. The message God gave me really stretched me. If I follow through on it I will go beyond my normal stopping point. But I am determined to face up to an honest evaluation of my personal and spiritual character, and endure whatever pain I may feel to strive for the standard of Godliness set forth in Scripture.

In case you don’t have any context for what I am writing, please take some time and go to www.calvaryeauclaire.org and watch yesterday’s sermon on Exercising God’s Character.

At the end of the sermon I handed out a character evaluation form to everyone. I hope people actually use it. I am going to ask my wife to evaluate me. Married couples should do this together. Single people should choose a trusted spiritual mentor to fill out the evaluation form.

It will be painful. It will make us defensive and self-protective. But if we push ourselves past the normal stopping point, we will grow. It is a necessary step in becoming spiritually fit.

Here is the evaluation form. Character evaluation sheet

Exercise God’s Image

Determining Our Character Fitness

Please ask a spouse or close friend to evaluate your character fitness according to Paul’s training of Timothy and Titus, and then discuss their responses.

Overall Spiritual Fitness

  1. How do you evaluate my overall fitness as a Christian?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Above Reproach

  1. What is my reputation as a Christian both among fellow believers and in the world?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Marriage

  1. What is the status of my marriage?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Sober-minded

  1. How well do I maintain balance in my life?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Self-Controlled

  1. How well do I maintain self-control in my daily habits and my responses to circumstances?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Respectable

  1. How well does my life consistently reflect the image of Jesus Christ to others?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Hospitable

  1. How well do I show compassion and give help to others in need?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Able to Teach

  1. How well am I able to communicate what I believe to others even though they may disagree?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Not a drunkard

  1. How well am I able to control various kinds of compulsions and addictions?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Not a lover of money

  1. How well do I show that I am not materialistic and greedy for material gain but have a generous spirit?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Manages household well

  1. How well do I fulfill my role in my home as defined in the Bible, not by culture?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Dignified

  1. How honorable and under control am I when I deal with difficult situations or people?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Humility

  1. How well do I draw attention to others rather than myself?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Integrity

  1. How well thought of am I by people who are outside the faith?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Faithful

  1. How well do I stay true to the fundamental doctrines of the faith without wavering?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Commendable Speech (not slanderous)

  1. How well does my communication about others build them up rather than tear them down?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Wisdom

  1. How well do I apply Biblical principles when making decisions or dealing with people?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Not Quick-tempered

  1. How well do I handle my anger so that it does not result in sinful behavior or speech?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Lover of good

  1. How do my attitudes show that I consistently look for the good in people and circumstances?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Not Argumentative

  1. How well do I avoid controversies and arguments and consistently speak with grace?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Gentle

  1. How well do I deal with people according to their best interests and not my own?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Upright

  1. How fair and just am I in dealing with other people, upholding God’s righteousness?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Holy

  1. How well do I live a life of no contradictions and double-standards?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

Disciplined

  1. How consistent am I in my service to Christ?

Out of Shape   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    Very Fit

NOW, ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE PUSHED!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s