As a pastor, for years, I’ve had to fight the temptation to want followers of Christ to be further down the road spiritually than they actually are (including myself). I’ve readily admitted my life verse is Galatians 4:19 where Paul says… “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” More than anything else in my life, I want to see Christ formed in the lives of the individuals God has entrusted me to lead.
But all of us who desire to see life change in the people around us need to remember a very important truth.
You can’t microwave spiritual formation.
Whether you’re praying for your husband to grow, or you want to see your kids make the right decisions, or you’re frustrated that your church isn’t where they need to be spiritually, or your small group is lagging behind your expectations, please remember what Thomas Merton once said…
In the spiritual life there are no shortcuts. Those who
imagine that they can discover spiritual gimmicks and
put them to work for themselves usually ignore God’s
will and his grace.