Challenged, or Changed?

I attend church every week, and each week a new message is taught. The problem is, I find I often don’t think about what was spoken until I prepare for the weekly Bible study (my church calls it a community). The question I have to ask myself is this: If I’m not thinking about the message, how can I be actively working on my character in that area?

I find myself going to church each week, coming away challenged, but not investing the time each day to review what was spoken and working throughout the day to achieve that higher standard. Distractions are stopping me from applying the truths I learn!

These distractions remind me of the parable of the sower in Matthew. Matthew 13:20-21 says “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” In this parable, I believe it is easy to be the rocky ground. Although I agree with the message and find it frees me, if I don’t apply it to my life every day, it will have no lasting effect. If there is no lasting effect, am I only attending church for a good feeling? Am I a Christian?

I have started making the community a place to be accountable. I think it is fair to say most people struggle with similar problems. Because of these struggles, we can relate and have grace toward each other. We encourage each other to apply the word and acknowledge when we aren’t living up to what we should be. We create strategies to overcome the hardest obstacles.

Can you relate to this? Do you notice yourself going to Church but not always applying the teaching? The best way to turn from being challenged to changed may be to find a Bible study that keeps you accountable.

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