Wednesday, June 29th.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Titus 2:2
Do you ever read a list of virtuous behaviors and think, That is pretty much the opposite of me? I have found that the first impulse of my flesh nature is almost always wrong. I am impulsive when I should be patient. I am petty when I should be mature. I am prideful when I should be humble. At my best, when my ego is bruised, I stop for a moment and ask, What would a really dignified, self controlled, loving, and mature person do? This of course is the opposite of my natural impulse, but it is always the right choice.
I think this is the beginning of growth, to realize that I’m not there yet. It is tempting to long for the day when we will be perfect, but that is not going to happen in this life. Even the most mature among us still have defects that God is working on. Those who are completely satisfied with their maturity are blind to the need for change and have embraced a pride that is lethal to spiritual growth.
Everyone needs God desperately, but most are blind to that need. I have often thought that addicts and alcoholics are fortunate in this regard, as our need is so obvious. Many people slip through life, never realizing their need for God and thus, they never seek God.
So when I look at lists like these, sighing, realizing how far I have to go, I do not despair. I just thank God for my need and I keep my eyes on him.