I’ve been thinking a lot this month about grading yourself honestly on how you are doing spiritually — is it possible (see Grade Yourself) and who/what should you compare yourself to in assigning a grade (see Grade Yourself #2 ). I concluded with input from a friend, that each of us should be “graded” against ourselves. How have we matured in our relationship with God, our good works, our understanding of Scripture over the past weeks, months or years.
Recently I did another spiritual exercise that had to do with imagining my own death. How would I want to be remembered? What would I expect to be said in my eulogy. What are my life goals and have I met them? This too, is a kind of “grading” or evaluating. Of course, it is my faith and not my works that save me, but will I feel at all worthy to hear these words?
‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Matthew 25:23
I thought hard about this. Looking back on my life, trying to grade myself, I would consider three things. The first is my life verse(actually it’s two verses):
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Second is my personal mission statement What’s My Mission?:
“”To keep in mind that I am a pilgrim on a journey to draw closer to God’; to recognize and respect this pilgrim quality in others and use my God given talents, insights, and resources to encourage them; to enjoy the life, friends, family and work with which I have been blessed and to be a peaceful and harmonious influence in all of these places.”
Finally, my core values (L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values):
These are the things I would use to “grade” my life–this is what I would use to see if I had worked toward being the kind of servant God created me to be.
If you haven’t done any exercises like these, I would encourage you to do so. Knowing what you’re aiming for will help you persevere. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:
“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”