Last year Ashley and I were a part of a Bible study that, along with our reading and scripture memory, gave us weekly challenges. The challenges were just that… a challenge. I often would forget that I needed to do it, or worse the challenge would be hard so I would avoid it and have that be my loss for the week, there’s always forgiveness right? But really these challenges helped me to grow closer to Jesus and through them I learned more about Him and how he is working in my heart. One of my favorite challenges that we did last year was coming up with a list of things that stir your affections for Christ and things that steal or pull you away from Him.
"Find the things that stir your affections for Christ and saturate your life in them. Find the things that rob you of that affection and walk away from them. That’s the Christian life as easy as I can explain it for you." - Matt Chandler
I love this quote from Matt Chandler and making a list of my “stirs and steals” has helped me grow in my walk with Christ and realize which things I need to walk away from and avoid because they rob my affection for Jesus.
These are some of the things that stir my affection for Christ and the things that I want to saturate my life with:
- Morning quiet times
- Talking with mentors and people who I can really see their faith in action
- Being outside in nature (specifically redwood trees and mountains, I love feeling small in nature)
- Random getaways without distraction
- Worship music
- When my schedule isn’t jam packed
- Sermon podcasts or Christian podcasts such as “The Happy Hour” with Jamie Ivey
- Hanging out with dear friends
- Encouraging others
- Words of affirmation
- Really good coffee
- A really delicious meal
- Trying new things that push me out of my comfort zone
This is my list of things that steal my affection for Christ and things I want to avoid:
- Spending too much time on social media
- Not enough sleep
- Drinking more than 2 drinks a night
- Not working out/laziness
- Conversations that are filled with negative speech
- Too much time in isolation
I encourage you to make your own list of “stirs and steals”. Your list will most likely look different from mine and there are no “right” answers. If you’ve already made a list once, I encourage you to revisit it, your “stirs and steals” may change over time and the things that bring you rest and joy in this season of life might cause stress and become a burden in other times in life.
I am by no means excellent in avoiding my “steals,” and I too often spend nights overeating junk food and spending time on social media comparing my life to the “perfect” depiction of someone else’s Instagram life, but that’s where accountability can come in. By taking the time to intentionally recognize the things that negatively impact my walk with the Lord, I am then able to ask the women in my life to hold me accountable to avoid the thing that rob my affections for Christ and run towards the things that stir my affections for Him. I’m so thankful to have women in my life that do this for me and that I am walking in accountability with.
Do you have an accountability partner? We encourage you to go through your lists of “stirs and steals” with them. If you don’t have an accountability partner, we highly recommend seeking out someone to walk through life with you.