The areas of our greatest struggle have the biggest and most immediate impact on our lives. The life of an alcoholic, for example, is negatively influenced by alcohol every single day. An unhealthy sex or porn habit, in similar fashion, does a lot of damage on a regular basis all by itself. It is a beautiful thing whenever an addict makes progress and whenever a bad habit gets broken. However, success in one area of life does not mean that we should declare victory and stop fighting for change in other areas. As human beings, we all fall short in many ways. A laser focus on one issue often comes at the expense of growth in others.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3: 23
Take physical health. An overweight person may be tempted to judge their overall health by the number they see on the scale. However, if an overweight individual only focuses on cutting calories, they may forget about other important inputs in the equation of physical health. What about fruits and vegetables? Water intake? Physical activity? Supplements? A proper balance of protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates? Avoidance of harmful chemicals and ingredients (like trans fat and high fructose corn syrup)? Weight is important to physical health, but if you have a deficiency in any of these other areas and only focus on losing weight, you are missing out on other powerful benefits.
Battlefront: the region or line along which opposing armies engage in combat.Oxford Languages
This blog has a focus on sexual purity because it’s a huge problem, but if you’ve been reading around, that’s not the only topic that gets addressed. Success in this area is tied to success in many other areas (physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational). And it is not the only front on which spiritual warfare takes place. As a pastor once said, “Lust is not the only way you sin.”
In addition to questions of sexual purity, you should be asking yourself these kinds of questions on a daily basis in order to assess your overall spiritual health.
- Am I walking in love with God and people? (That means forgiving people of everything and not holding toxic grudges!).
- Is my pride in check or am I selfish and arrogant?
- Am I controlling my emotions, especially anger, and not letting them control me?
- Am I spending my time and money on foolery or on things that edify?
- Am I fulfilling my life responsibilities in and out of the house?
- Are my words being used to build up or tear down? To promote health or sickness in those around me?
- Am I respecting my body as the temple of God in what I consume?
There is a saying in English, “choose your battles.” This means it is often wise to let things go and not make a big deal out of everything in the interest of healthy relationships. I agree.
However, when it comes to life, we don’t always choose our battles, sometimes they choose us. And we should work to make progress on every single one of those fronts. Think of how disappointing it would be to achieve success on one front and get crushed on all the others.
Today, let’s identify ALL the areas we can do better in.
Today, let’s formulate strategies to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be.