I want to kick off my new year on the topic of spiritual wellness. It is a primary theme in my new book, A New Way of Living: Practicing the Beatitudes Everyday.
Much has been written about physical wellness and how exercise and diet are essential elements to health and longevity, but how do you know if you are spiritually well?
The Beatitudes--like physical vital signs--can serve as a baseline for your spiritual health. How can you know where you are in your spiritual development? Just as you would take your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and rate of breathing to measure your health physically, you can gauge your spiritual health by measuring your attitudes and behavior against what Jesus considered "blessed" in his teachings recorded in Matthew 5:3-10.
Jesus not only blessed certain spiritual conditions as he looked out over his disciples and the crowd that gathered to hear him, but I believe he also revealed characteristics of who he wanted his followers to demonstrate in their lives: meekness, mercy, purity in heart, living as a peacemaker, for example.
So, if you want a baseline for your spiritual wellness, you can look for the heart conditions Jesus blessed in your heart and life.
Here are some questions you could ask yourself to test your spiritual condition as Jesus described it:
Do I have a sense of poverty of soul?
Have I confessed I am spiritually bankrupt?
Am I painfully aware of my need for God?
Do I have a deepened sense of grief for not only my anemic spiritual condition but for those around me who are hurt by sin and suffering?
Have my poverty of soul and mournful heart brought me into a state of meekness, submitting all I am and have to the leadership of Jesus to help me?
Do I have a hunger and thirst that things be made right as God designed them?
We will pick up here next week, but in the meantime, take time to become familiar with the Beatitudes and allow the Holy Spirit to measure your spiritual wellness with them.
Leave a comment or question if you like.