Sometimes a doctor will say to a patient, “We caught this in the early stages. We can treat this, and you’ll have a full recovery.” But other times a doctor will have to say, “I’m sorry. But this is too advanced and there’s very little we can do right now. If only we had caught it earlier!”
Unfortunately, there is a strong similarity between those diagnoses and a person’s spiritual health condition. Sometimes a person will allow their choices and patterns of behavior to lead them gradually away from where they need to be in their relationship with God. Unfortunately, for some, they don’t recognize this until they are in a very serious state of spiritual decline. But, for others, they could “catch it early” if they were paying attention and watching for signs of gradual departure. Where are you? Do you present any signs that your spiritual health may be in jeopardy?
Have you allowed anything else (including your work, your hobbies, your various commitments) to be put ahead of God and your commitment to Him (Matt. 6:24; Col. 1:18)?
Have you allowed yourself to become dissatisfied, disinterested and thus distanced from regular attendance at church assemblies (Matt. 6:33; Heb. 10:25)?
Have you allowed yourself to read the Bible, study the Bible and pray to God less and less, to the point that you’re not doing that very often anymore (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 3:18)?
Have you allowed yourself to become overly (and unnecessarily) critical of certain ones at the church, especially those in leadership positions (1 Thess. 5:12-13; Heb. 13:17)?
Have you allowed yourself to start referring to the church as “they” and to church activities as “what they do” (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27)?
Have you allowed yourself to give less time, thought, interest, energy, resources and money (yea, less of yourself) to the church and its work (1 Cor. 16:15-16; 2 Cor. 8:1-8; Eph. 4:16)?
Have you allowed yourself to have closer friends “out” in the world rather than “in” the church and among Christians (1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1)?
Have you allowed yourself to feel no urgency to reach others with the gospel and to lead others to Christ and His glorious church (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16)?
Have you allowed yourself to become defensive when others in the church express interest and concern for your spiritual welfare (1 Thess. 5:11-14; Gal. 6:1-10)?
Brother or sister, do a self-examination today (2 Cor. 13:5). Are you showing any signs (i.e., these above or others) that your spiritual condition is not where it should be? “Catch it” now and set yourself on a course for complete recovery!