I think one of the most important human needs is to make progress. As we’re living our lives, it’s an innate desire to feel like we’re doing better than we did a year ago, five years ago, or even ten years ago. We might have little dips, but in general, the hope is that we’re doing better than we used to.
The world has a way in which it measures progress, and it’s not bad, right? Maybe you have some of these measurements, like when you get married, have children, your children have children, and you become a grandparent. Or perhaps it’s financial gains in your business, and you continue to grow by a certain amount each year or by the number of employees, or products sold. Maybe if you’re in ministry, your measurement is based on how many meals you’ve given away, the people you’ve brought to faith, or how your congregation is growing. Our lives have these visible things outside of us and a million others that I could mention as indicators of progress.
Friend, the fear of being different or what is perceived as “weird” is one of the greatest obstacles to making progress. It’s the fear of being called names or being worried about what others think that stifles our growth. In general, people who are concerned about what’s visible aren’t worried about what’s invisible. It is crucial that we pay attention to what’s happening in the invisible places of our lives; that we work on what’s in our hearts more than how we look. It is through this that we can become more Christlike.