End of term. School reports! I’m looking forward to seeing my grandchildren’s, to read about all they’ve been learning, and what they have achieved. I love them all to bits, and it’s great to hear when they’ve done really well. It’s brilliant when they’ve tried really hard, and done their best, whatever their marks. It’s sad when they haven’t – not because it makes them less valuable – they are just so precious whatever they do – but because they all have so much potential, and it’s such a shame when their gifts are wasted.
It’s a good job we don’t get ‘spiritual reports’! God has invested so much in us, given us so many gifts, and of course the Holy Spirit to empower and enable us. For all that, how much do I achieve? Some days, in difficult times, the achievement is simply keeping going, hanging in there; and our Heavenly Father is immensely proud of us that we manage that much. But if I’m honest, I know most of the time I ‘could do better’! It must sadden God to know our potential, and watch us limit ourselves.
That’s the feel I get when I read Exodus 22:28-31. God wants us to submit to him – our mouths and everything we speak; our wallets and everything we own; our families and home life; everything we are. He has created us to be a holy people, and when we do not live up to the standards, and allow ourselves to be contaminated by the world around us, instead of being a beacon of light in a dark place, we limit what we can achieve in his name.
No matter how many gifts I have, no matter how much potential, no matter how skilled I am, if I am not living up to the measure of it, and constantly pushing forward in my relationship with God, submitting every area of my life in obedience to him, then my spiritual life will not see the fruit that God has intended for me to bear. Like any good parent, he so much wants the best for us, to see us achieving all that he has put within us. The saddest report of all, I think, is ‘able and idle’. I saw a quote today that pretty much sums it up: “God not only sees where you are, he sees where you can be.”