Jackie and I recently attended a conference where the speaker emphasized the formula above.



Paul admonished the Corinthian believers to examine themselves. Often 21st century believers get so good at assessing others that they neglect to self-examine their own journey. I believe Jesus alluded to this idea when he mentioned digging a speck of sawdust out of someone’s eye while a beam is sticking out of our own eye. Daily we must reflect and inspect.



If all we do is assess, we have failed miserably. We must take corrective action steps to become more fully devoted followers of Jesus. Most of us are already aware of the areas in our lives that need some improvement. Do not try to correct everything that needs re-calibrating all at once. Work on one or two areas where you are currently struggling and work diligently until you see the desired improvement in your life through the filter of Scripture.



If you write down your action step there is a 40% chance you will “stick with it” until the desire result occurs. That percentage increases to 70% if you ask another person to hold you accountable for follow through on your desired action step.


 Several years ago, I mentored a young man who had struggled with pornography. He and I agreed on a “code” so the subject could be discussed in a public setting. The word we agreed upon was the word “golf”.  Any time, any place, in any setting I could ask him about his “golf game”. I do realize that a struggle of this magnitude is not a game but it was a workable method of accountability. I knew by his response whether he was continuing to progress in his recovery or if a lapse had occurred (assuming his answers were honest). Let me just insert here accountability on any level assumes a level of trust. Frankly, if there is no trust then there is no accountability.


Personal Growth

The long-term desired outcome in the context of following Jesus is personal growth.  Personal growth does depend on the working of the Holy Spirit but you and I must do our part as well. There must a timeline attached to any lasting personal growth. I have heard people say, “Look at the past ten years of your life.”  Really?  What if I can’t recall what I had for lunch yesterday?  I say, “Honestly reflect on the last month and ask ‘Am I a better person today than I was thirty days ago?'”  Answer the question honestly, then monitor and adjust accordingly.


A little boy and his father had to walk around a huge rock on their way home. One day the boy said, “Dad, do you think I could move that rock if used all my strength?”  Dad encouraged his son by replying, “I know you can son, if you use all of your strength.”  So the boy begins pushing on the rock. He works feverishly to budge the rock to no avail. Finally, in frustration, the son said, “Dad, you said I could move this rock if I used all my strength.”  “Yes, I did Son, but you are not using all of your strength.”  “Son, I am part of your strength, but you never asked me to help.”  The boy and his dad moved the rock together.


Lasting personal growth, even with assessment, action, and accountability, on happens with the help of our Father.  

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