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Psalm 119:57–64

‘I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.’ (vv58–60)

How do we evaluate, or find a value for, our learning and subsequent service? Effective measures are hard to find for something not calculated against external criteria. Only God knows the state of our heart and can compute our integrity. Jesus tells us to keep quiet about the apparent good we do so that we don’t congratulate ourselves or allow pride to provoke us into judging others. 

We can easily evaluate where and when we miss the mark by observing how frequently we criticise or envy others, and then talk about our own accomplishments. We exist to serve God and to Him alone we will account for our life. One useful measure is the degree to which I’m confident and comfortable in remaining anonymous, known only to God. 

This negative approach perhaps best guides us in measuring our faithfulness in serving God. The things I’m most aware of once enlivened to God’s way are the ones I know act as barriers between us. It’s a matter of personal choice if I want to demolish such barriers, for in doing so I must sacrifice elements in life that purely nourish my ego. 

Early in the gospel story John the Baptist gives us the best benchmark to evaluate our Christian growth and effectiveness (John 3:30); it is the degree to which I am decreasing, becoming anonymous, for as I move from my life’s centre stage, I ensure I leave room for only one, Jesus, and He alone is floodlit by the super trouper.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ps. 49:1–12; Prov. 21:1–16; Matt. 15:1–20; 2 Cor. 13:1–10.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: It takes courage to decrease, especially when so many are intent on increasing their visibility. Are you hungry to decrease or increase?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I learn to be content that my influence is greatest when I quietly and obediently step aside for You in my life. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.