Mark Affleck


January 7, 2017
Spiritual Growth

What I’m about to share with you has dramatically changed my walk with Christ and I’d even say transformed my life. That’s how important this story is to me; and my prayer is that it resonates with you.
The story is built around a balcony metaphor and pivots off God’s instruction to examine ourselves to “search me and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23). The way I do that in my life is inspired by the real-life action of going up to a balcony and looking down on the activity taking place below. The application to faith is pretending to be up on that balcony looking down on ME!
The goal is to get perspective on the bigger picture by distancing myself from the day-to-day machinations of life. It lets me evaluate my walk as a detached third party looking on from multiple angles. It’s the music beneath the lyrics of my life’s song.
The same principle is at work when football coaches watch the game from the vantage point offered by a sky box high above the field of play so they can see every part of the action.
Self-assessment for Christians is an imperative for spiritual growth and understanding God’s purpose for life. This ongoing, reflective probe into our faith is how God shapes our path and points out things that need to be changed. Importantly, a regular trip to the balcony can help us spot trouble coming and avoid it before it happens.
There are myriad benefits to going up to the balcony every so often to review our walk with Christ. Here are just a few:

  • Observe with less emotion
  • Consider an objective point of view
  • Rewind the tape of your life
  • Slow down the pace
  • Identify blind spots
  • Increase self-awareness

Here are the questions I typically ponder while up on the balcony looking down and confronting the reality of my life and considering my way:

  • How am I doing in living out the habits of a disciple: Word; Prayer; Fellowship; and Tithing?
  • What does my mood/attitude look and feel like?
  • What roadblocks need to be removed in front of my path?
  • Am I ignoring someone who needs my attention, love, or time?
  • Do I like what is playing below?
  • What would I change?
  • What can I learn?

We know God wants us to examine our heart, the question is how do we do that often and well. Picturing yourself up on a balcony is a great way to reach that end and animate what God would have you do or change in your life.   
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40
“I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.” Psalm 119:59-60

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