I think that building IKEA furniture is great spiritual maturity barometer. My family will tell you that one of my spiritual achilles heals is doing anything that requires tools. When I fix or build something, I usually end up speaking in a tongue that is more suited for a bar of soap than a man of God. Fortunately, my youngest daughter is more spiritually mature than me, and she LIKES the challenge of putting IKEA furniture together, so my whole family leans on Paige to help them build this beautiful jigsaw-puzzle-in-a-box furniture.
Mark 6:3 tells us that Jesus was the son of a carpenter (the Greek word for carpenter is a word that can be translated as carpenter, builder or laborer). This fact makes me wonder what Joseph would have thought about furniture in a box. I also wonder if Jesus liked to help his earthly dad so that Joseph didn’t cuss like a sailor when he got to the last step of the dresser only to realize that he had built the whole darn thing backwards….
We all know that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF-CONTROL (Galatians 5:22-23). I don’t know about you guys, but self-control is the least developed fruit in my life. Building IKEA furniture, or stepping onto a scale these days is a good reminder for me that I have a long way to go to become a fully mature man of God.
One way that I am battling my lack of self-control is to ask family and friends for help when I need to build something, and to ask my friends to hold me accountable to exercise and eat better. I really admire my wife and some of the friends, who have developed the fruit of self-control. These people show me that it is possible to build IKEA furniture joyfully and to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is under 30. We all need people in our lives to help us stay on track and to inspire us. My goal is to become a man of God who is spiritually, emotionally and physically healthy and mature. I believe that this is God’s best for all of us.
I find it humorous that some people look down on others who dance, drink or listen to the “wrong” kind of music when they are obese. Or those who look down on others who struggle with their weight when their spiritual or emotional life is a train-wreck. We all need help. Help from God through His Holy Spirit, and help from others who truly desire to become more for God and others like we do.
So where are you at in your spiritual, emotional and physical maturity journey? Where do you want to be? Are you serious enough to ask God and others for help and accountability? The first step is to admit that you don’t have it all together, and then be courageous enough to face the truth, and your fears, and then get busy.
Maybe someday I will have a crown and a size 32 waist tool belt to cast before the throne of Christ when I stand before Him (Revelation 4:9-11). What do you hope to cast before the throne of Christ when you stand before Him?