You may have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” What shapes your body? The way you eat, drink, sleep, exercise, heal, and live. Whether you work at it or ignore it, your body shows the effects.
The inner you also shows the effects of the attention it receives. What shapes the inner you? What you see, read, hear, think, and do. As children we’re sponges—taking it all in. As we grow into adulthood, we start choosing and being responsible for our choices. This is spiritual formation—and it’s not an optional activity reserved for ministers or monks. Every one of us is in the process of being shaped—for better or for worse.
Do you know yourself—how you are put together? Your strengths and weaknesses? Or have you absorbed a script for your life written by others or by circumstances?
- Financial success is an important measure of success in your family, but you have always wanted to find a small homestead and try to live off the grid.
- You’ve always admired strong leaders—team captains, school presidents, CEOs—and work to emulate them, but your wife sadly informs you that the stress you are under has made the man she married disappear, and she wants you back.
- Your life hasn’t turned out the way you dreamed, and sometimes you just want to run away. Is that the only solution or can you be the person God created in the life you have?
God wants you to grow into the design he created. And the reason God wants you to grow is SO THAT you can produce fruit–SO THAT you can paint a picture, make meals for the hungry, build houses for the homeless, raise a family, or make others laugh. SO THAT you can affect others around you in the way God designed for you. If you don’t, the rest of us miss out on the gift you were meant to give.
For us to move into the “fruit-bearing” part of our lives, we need to let God’s light illuminate the ways in which our life experiences—what we have ingested into our bodies and our souls—have put up roadblocks to his design and purpose for each one of us.