“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16
By Ken Korkow
Can you remember when you were 18-22 years old, before you became established in your business or professional career – and how you viewed the older generation? The attitude varies from culture to culture, but younger people often regard their elders with skepticism. Young adults smugly think that within just a few years they will be showing their older, more experienced counterparts the way things really should be done.
Guess what? If you are in your 30’s or beyond, you and I now have become the older generation! What a startling realization that has been for me, especially the discovery that I was not as smart as I thought I was!
So, now that you have become the “older generation,” do you like who you've become? To help you answer this question, let's do a quick inventory, one that I have found helpful again and again in assessing my life’s progress. Let’s proceed: How are you doing in these areas?
Physically? Are you overweight? Are you feeling tired, or under-powered? Do you schedule regular eye, dental, and physical check-ups? How would you assess your personal nutrition, and frequency of exercise? Basically, are you intentional in how you treat and care for your body?
Mentally? Do you find that you are still learning, not only professionally, but also in a broader, general sense? Do you continue to have an intellectual curiosity about life? Do you spend significant time reading books and articles outside your normal areas of interest, simply to “broaden your perspectives”?
Emotionally? Do you rule your emotions, or do they rule you? Do you ever struggle with depression? How about anger – do you find yourself feeling angry a disproportionate amount of time? Do you find that you harbor a critical spirit, or a generally negative attitude as you proceed through a typical day?
Relationally? Do you have a number of individuals that you regard as close friends? Do you find that members of your family seem eager to spend time with you? Have you made any new friends lately?
Stewardship-wise? This concerns the proper care of your “possessions”: Are your vehicles in good shape? What about your home: Is it in good repair? Do you keep your work area, whether it is a traditional office, a home office, or some other setting, functional and attractive?
Financially? Are your personal finances in good shape? Do you have much debt – and if so, do you have a workable plan for reducing and eventually eliminating it? Is your will current? Do you have enough insurance to cover both the unexpected and the inevitable? Have you established a regular plan for giving to charitable causes?
Spiritually? Have you addressed some of the deeper questions of life: Do you know where you're going when you die? Would you say you are controlled by God’s Holy Spirit – or the unholy spirit? Do you have a regular, consistent approach for personal spiritual growth?
Vocationally?How would you evaluate your career at this point? Are you fulfilled in what you are doing? Do you find your work rewarding? How are you succeeding in reaching the goals you set earlier in life – on track, ahead of schedule, or lagging far behind? Could it be that the time is approaching to make a major change?
If you were to rate each of these eight areas 1-10, with 1 being lowest and 10 highest, what would your scores look like? Which areas seem to require the most attention at this time? What steps could you initiate for bringing about needed improvements? Are you willing to do what is necessary to make these changes? How you answer is important: We have only one life to live, and the Bible reminds us of the responsibility to live it well:
If you have received Christ as Lord,“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Ken Korkow serves as CBMC Area Director for Nebraska and South Dakota.