When was the last time you conducted a “spiritual audit” on your life? Spiritual audits provide a great opportunity to determine our growth in various areas of our walk with Christ. It is likely that, for many of us, we just fell in line with the routine of the church after our baptism and it has been that way ever since.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an audit is “a systematic review or assessment of something.” A spiritual audit is beneficial for the individual and also for the church. It will help the person as a growing organism and the church as a dynamic organization. Individuals can compare themselves with biblical norms and the church can determine how and whether it is accomplishing its mission. Is your church taking time to conduct spiritual audits?
As Adventists, we declare boldly that we have been given the Great Commission by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Consequently, we should be making assessments along the way to see the extent to which we are completing the task.
The members of my church have participated in three initiatives so far this year—a 14-Day Radical Discipleship Challenge (February 3-16), 40 Days of Prayer for the Holy Spirit and Alignment with God’s Perfect Will (February 17-March 28), and 30 Days of Prayer, Healing, and Restoration for Relationships (May 4-June 2). These initiatives served to keep the members focused on drawing closer to God and moving away from things that distract them and impede their spiritual growth.
Participating in these initiatives served as a reminder for me of the importance of “self-care.” Self-care, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is defined as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” Regardless of the situations that consume us on a daily basis, we must be intentional about connecting with God and developing our relationship with Him.
The observation is not a new one, but a reminder that we need to hit the “pause button” from time to time and think about where we are and where we are going. So much is happening in the world around us and in our church that it would be to our advantage to heed the words of Jesus when He said to His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”—Mark 6:31.
In our spiritual audits, we should consider such questions as: How much time do I spend studying God’s Word? Do I really have a good understanding of what I’m reading? How much time do I spend in prayer? Are my prayers centered on self or are others included? Am I reaching out in service to the community? Do I share my faith with others? Am I fulfilling the mission to which I am called?
Knowing where we are in our walk with God helps us to better prepare for the challenges that are certain to come our way. Every now and then, we really should hit that “pause button” and take time away from the “usual” to take care of our spiritual health.
To help with your self-care, our cover feature this month includes a few reminders that we hope will encourage you in your journey to better spiritual health. Take care of yourself!
Ednor A. P. Davison is the communication director for the Atlantic Union Conference and editor for the Atlantic Union Gleaner.
This editorial first appeared in the June 2019 issue of The Atlantic Union Gleaner magazine, page 3.