“Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Ps 139:23
When you live an unexamined life—it shows! Author Gordon MacDonald writes: “I was reading authors who were saying that if Christ’s followers don’t grow, it’s because they don’t make a habit of evaluating their lives. These authors were describing me. I was always on the go, never looking deeply inside. I never did the kind of reflection that leads to growth, and I was paying the price—committing the same stupid sins over and over, living with the same heavy load of guilt. So I made a difficult decision: I decided that each day I would try to honestly assess my soul’s condition. I would look inside myself and write down what I saw. Feeling awkward and embarrassed, I started to write. ‘God, here are some areas of failure in my life. They aren’t going away, so I might as well take a look at them.’ Or, ‘Here’s a relationship or habit I’m concerned about. It’s not good and I don’t know how to improve it.’ After writing a paragraph or two I would reflect on what I had written.” There are benefits to keeping a spiritual diary of your walk with God that you can’t get any other way: (1) It forces you to slow down and examine the effectiveness of what you’re doing. (2) It frees you to ask, “Why am I doing this? How do I really feel about it? What is God saying to me?” (3) By writing even a page a day, in one year you will have a 365-day record of prayers answered and lessons learned!