People search this question on Google about 30 times a week… If you’re one of those 30 people, this post is for you!
If you’re at church 3-4 times each week, you’ll also benefit from what I have to say. You’re probably wondering how to help other people become more consistent, and this post applies.
For the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable, go to the Old Testament. Because it’s largely a narrative, the Old Testament shows cause and effect—of every kind. You can trust it to tell the juicy parts.
I want to show you some match-ups I discovered. It’s a set of revealing comparisons of those who got it right and those who didn’t.
I found two principles:
1. Why holiness matters.
2. How people become holy.
I’ll share these principles at the end. But see if you can find them yourself in the following comparisons:
I don’t feel like praying. I almost never do.
This used to slow me down, but here are some principles that have greatly helped.
Why don’t I feel like praying?
I have an aversion to changes of context. If I’m doing chores around the house, I want to keep doing them. If I’m reading or typing at my computer, I want to keep doing that. When it’s time to go to bed, I don’t want to. And when it’s time to get out of bed I don’t want to. It takes emotional energy to shift your context, to drop an activity, and to orient yourself to a new one.
Those two words, “judge not,” can threaten to stop a dialogue.
But two more words can restart it: “keep reading.”
The “judge not” in Matthew 7:1 is not the end of the chapter.
By the third verse Jesus has pointed out that we should indeed be judging our own spiritual state:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
By the fifth verse Jesus commands that a hypocrite ought to take the beam out of his own eye:
“And then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”