So I’ve been forty for 2 weeks and already I’ve received a letter from my Doctor’s Surgery asking me to book in for a NHS Vascular Screening Health Check which is being offered to people between the ages of 40 and 74 and will be undertaken every five years. I’m. Barely. Even. Forty!!!!
Apparently, this check is to assess my future risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes. If there are warning signs then they can do something about it and by taking early action, I can hopefully improve my health and prevent the onset of these conditions.
Now I get the importance of this. I understand that as I get older I am more susceptible to health issues, and that regular checks and assessments will help me in my physical wellbeing. The letter just made me feel a little bit old, that’s all.
But just as it’s important for us to have regular physical health checks, so it is important for us to have regular spiritual health checks – whatever our age and whatever our stage in our Christian journey! Spirituality is not only about private devotion, public worship and Christian service, but is as wide as life itself. So our relationships, attitudes, outlook towards peace and justice are all part of it.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he writes to them, ‘Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular check-ups…. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.’
Rick Warren suggests in his book The Purpose Driven Life that we need to regularly check and balance the five vital signs of a healthy Christian life:
Worship: You were planned for God’s pleasure.
Fellowship: You were formed for God’s family.
Discipleship: You were created to become like Christ.
Ministry: You were shaped for serving God.
Evangelism: You were made for a mission.
Now we all know we’ll never be perfect this side of heaven, but by regularly evaluating our spiritual health, it gives us direction for developing a plan to bring God’s five purposes for our lives into balance and to be the person God made each of us to be.
In our morning worship a couple of weeks ago we looked at goodness and as part of our reflection we used a song that asked a great question to start our spiritual health check,
‘am I what I ought to be, O Saviour let me know.’
Are you? Am I? O Saviour let us know.