This month my doctor ordered several tests for me to measure all kind of things. The results will tell us where I am healthy and where I am not. (Whoever heard of a “fatty liver” anyway?)
The apostle Paul measured two things to determine the spiritual health of his disciples, 1) their trust in the Lord Jesus, and 2) the disciples’ love for one another. Six times in his letters Paul probed into the state of the trust and love of the believers to discover how they were doing. (Ephesians 1:15-16; Colossians 1:3-6; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Philemon 4-7)
The first measure is trust. Trust is the confidence that your disciple places in the character, ability, and strength of Jesus. Does she live in joy and peace or is her life marked by anxiety?
The second measure is love. Love is evident when your disciple desires good for his fellow disciples and he longs to be in union with those disciples. In other words, he is not competing with the others, jealous, or intimidated but rather he serves well and seeks to live in community. His life is not marked by detachment.
Monthly our leaders look together at each disciple to measure their trust and love, knowing that our community will become what we measure.