Recently the Men’s Division at Haven of Rest underwent a self-evaluation of the Residential Program. The entire process took about four months and it has been very helpful to see where the program’s strengths are and where there is room for growth. One great thing that came out of the evaluation was a new Bible study called “Roots of Faith.” It focuses on helping men gain a firm foundation of Bible knowledge through stories from the Old and New Testaments (for more information about “Roots of Faith” see the July Voice Newsletter). This wonderful blessing would not have been possible if the Men’s Division hadn’t followed God’s call to evaluate the program.
Self-evaluation is one of the most difficult things to do, especially if you are reflecting on something that is painful or uncomfortable to think about. It is definitely a learned skill, but necessary as Paul tells the Corinthians: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” At first, this verse seems like Paul is giving Christians a difficult task, but at the end we get the answer we should find every time: Jesus. Though it still may be difficult to do, as Christians, Jesus Christ is in us whether we are self-reflecting for good reasons or uncomfortable ones. He is there to guide and direct our paths. But how do we remember to look inside ourselves from time to time and evaluate our choices as well as our spiritual lives?
To help me remember, I attach sticky notes and little messages to my desk at work and mirrors at home. As a writer, I am constantly revising sentences and looking for mistakes, but it is not as easy to remember to look inside and see ways to improve. One reminder that I have kept for quite a few years came from an influential teacher I once had. It reads:
-Have a plan
-Stay in the present tense
-Use they only if you know who they are
-Edit often for errors
Advice for writing – or maybe for life!
Find a way to remind yourself that speaks to you and put it up in a few places that you spend a lot of time. God can use reflection and evaluation to show us the things He has blessed us with and ways that we can grow. Only He knows the great things that await you if you have the courage to take time to reflect and adjust your life to His path.