Jesus told a story about a son that demanded his inheritance. After a brief time he squandered the money and found himself starving. The son's problems were clearly self-inflicted.
In that moment of clarity he determined to admit his fault and maybe get a job working as a servant for the father he had scorned. In the story the father reinstated the son, with great extravagance, and threw a great party.
This story can teach us about the process of spiritual transformation. There were a series of things that can happen along the path to restoration.
Our posture changes from a closed fist to open hands ready to be embraced by our father.
This change in attitude is not a one-time event but rather a precious moment that will recur with greater frequency throughout our lifetime. The first time may be dramatic because it takes so much to get to the initial turning point.
As we become more familiar with the process, we become more sensitive to the call of the Spirit toward restoration and redemption. We get fed up in smaller doses and are more ready to give up to God's fantastic love.
Take an hour or so to think about your own journey.
If so you are on the right road to peace with God.
Do you love your work?
So much time is spent at work that how we feel about work colors our perception about everything else that we experience in life. Most of us spend about half of our waking hours thinking about work.
An important transformation is needed in our work life. We need to see work less as a means to some end, but more as an end in itself. God has placed you in a specific situation for a purpose.
Sometimes we fully grasp this purpose and at other times we are completely unaware of why we are in this job at all. If we do not feel that we are where God wants us to be then we need to leave and find the place where we ought to be.
We do not need to be in a job that is comfortable, but in a job that we feel has purpose. Often that purpose is providing for our family, or it could be to demonstrate how Jesus would function in the work place.
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." - Colossians 3:23
Reflect on the above scripture and ask the hard question, "Am I where God put me and am I willing to thrive there?". This simple question may be the key to your transformation at work.
How can we yield our emotions to God?
Even though we seldom realize it, our lives are controlled by our emotions. We like to think of ourselves as being rational beings, with a little emotion added to make us human. In actuality we are emotional beings with a little rational behavior bolted on.
There is a spectrum of how we experience our emotions. On one end some of us act directly out of our current emotional state. Whatever we feel defines our reality and our behavior is a direct result.
Others of us are completely out of touch with our emotions. That does not mean that we do not have feelings, but rather we actively suppress them. Stoic people believe that expressing emotions (other than anger) is a sign of weakness and so they avoid any emotional situations whenever possible.
No matter where we find ourselves on this spectrum we need the Spirit of God to transform us from the inside out. Emotional Intelligence is a measure of our emotional maturity and resilience. There is no self-help teaching that can show us how to become more mature.
Emotional transformation is the result of the Spirit revealing God's tremendous love for us. This is a supernatural experience that only God can provide. The results of soaking in God's love is that we are able to face our emotions in the light of reality.
If we are naturally led by emotions then we can acknowledge their presence without having to be controlled by them. If we have a habit of ignoring our emotions then we can welcome feelings as they come. Learning to feel again will take us to the next level of embracing life.
Jesus said that he came to bring us the abundant life. Embracing emotional health is a key part of the abundant life that Jesus is offering us.
Spend a few minutes inviting the Spirit to speak with you on this topic. You may be amazed with all that he has to say.
Money is central to every aspect of our lives. What you love most will govern how you live your life. If you truly love money you cannot love God. One will always win out over the other.
So what does it mean to transformed in our thinking about money? Jesus discussed money more that any other subject in his teaching. He clearly understood that unless we can love God more than ourselves then we will never follow him in a way that matters.
There are three areas where our thinking must be transformed
If we do not feel that we are satisfied with what we have now then it is very unlikely that we will ever be satisfied. As resources grow so do our expectations about what is needed for happiness. Even billionaires need a new helicopter. We must learn to be content starting now.
We need to think in terms of service to others rather than serving ourselves. The happiest people that I know are also the more generous. This is no coincidence. God made us to connect with others and that requires that we invest time, energy, and our money. If you don't make the investment then you are missing out on an extremely important chance to experience God's blessing flowing through you.
Being aligned with God's purpose has a profound influence on every aspect of our lives. Discovering his purpose causes us to get rid of everything that would prevent that from happening. Simplifying our lives occurs naturally in order for us to use the resources that we manage in a way to bring God's presence to those around us.
Spend a few minutes and think about your own journey. How have you struggled with the issues of contentment, generosity, and simplicity? Are you making progress?
Next share your journey with someone that you trust. Ask what they see in your life. It will probably be an amazing discussion.
We live in a body. Therefore our physical health has a profound impact on everything in our lives. A problem in our body quickly becomes a problem for our mind and soul.
Our bodies are a dwelling place for the presence of God. Transformation includes embracing his plan of health and vitality for us. Remaining as healthy as possible is important to everything else that might happen.
Neglecting the care of our bodies thwarts all of the plans that God has for us. Ultimately this is a spiritual issue with significant consequences. The question before us is, "Will we choose to follow Jesus in taking care of ourselves?"
Holistic care is comprehensive and includes what we eat, controlling wait, getting sleep, remaining free from addiction, staying out of bar fights, and defensive driving. Life is uncertain; there is no guarantee of longevity or high quality life. But neglecting health issues is a sure path to a low quality life on every level.
Take a time for review and ask yourself: 1. What does holistic health mean to me? 2. What small changes can I make to improve health?