The Less of Us

Dave Trout

I returned from a summer media conference recently that talked a lot about trends - both big changes in the media world and macro changes in our culture.

One of the big questions our organization walked away with was, "How can a media organization track consumers' spiritual growth path?" It's easy to track the path from new listener to committed donor. But how can we find out if we are being effective at discipling individuals into a deeper relationship with the Lord?

Maybe this isn't possible to track through media.  We'll see...

Regardless, it's caused me to think deeper about tracking my own spiritual journey. Am I growing? How do I know? How do I know that I know? Do I assume that I'm a deeper, fuller person based on my successes and triumphs? Am I honest about my weaknesses and failures?

If you, like me, are trying to honor God with your life - you also likely have this big chunk of your life that's bearing good fruit. Yet because we are fallen, we all have these lesser areas that play tug-of-war with our souls. This piece of us won't fully disappear until we get to heaven. So does this never-ending tension limit our ability to track our own spiritual growth?

A song that I'm playing on Under the Radar by new artist Brandon Bee shares how sometimes the lesser side of that tug-of-war wins the day. I am my own worst critic much of the time, aren't you? The song even shares how we can often feel like "the last one qualified" to serve God effectively.

But thank God that He has redeemed us - even the broken parts. John 15:2 shares that God is the gardener who "cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." He knows us intimately and knows we all have a few dead branches in our lives. And only God could use our areas of brokenness to minister to those around us. That's good news if I ever heard it!

Topics: Music, Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Theology & The Church, Faith