As I write this blog post, I’m in my classroom at Anderson University watching my freshman students make revisions to their essays. It’s tedious work, so I give them specific things to look for:
- in this reading look for passive verbs and rewrite the sentence to make it active;
- now give things and people names (i.e., instead of saying she put the items on the conveyor belt, show me the bran cereal and the ruby red grapefruit);
- this time cut repetitive material,
- and so on.
Making improvements in my spiritual life is also tedious work, and it’s hard for me to see clearly what changes I need to make. Just as my students may look at a paragraph and be overwhelmed when I tell them to revise it, so I feel when I try to determine whether I’m spiritually healthy. Like my students, I may be tempted to throw up my hands and say it’s good enough.
Except that I don’t want to be good enough; I want to be a beautiful and shining servant of God.
What I need is a step-by-step process for evaluating myself. “First look at this, now this, this time consider X…” So I’ve created a list, and I thought you might be able to use it too.
- look for complaints and rewrite them as words of appreciation
- turn my unkind statements about others into words of praise
- replace my laziness with productivity
- instead of worrying, pray
- identify my temptations and remove them (or tame them)
- do what I said I would do
- don’t do what I said I wouldn’t do
- replace an old habit with a new experience
- turn bitterness into forgiveness
How about you? Do you have any suggestions for revisions that we can all make to our lives?Leave a Comment