By Brennan Manning from Reflections for Ragamuffins:
To discern where you really are with the Lord, recall what has saddened you recently. Was it the realization that you don’t love Jesus enough? That you do not seek His face in prayer often enough? That you cannot honestly say that the greatest thing that ever happened in your life is that Jesus came to you and you heard His voice? That you do not regard finding Jesus as your supreme happiness? That you have denied His last commandment by not loving his people enough?
Or have you been saddened and depressed over a lack of human respect, criticism from an authority figure, financial problems, lack of friends, your bulging waistline?
On the other hand, what has gladdened you recently? Reflection on your election to the Christian community? The joy of praying, “Abba, I belong to you”? The afternoon you stole away with the gospel as your only companion? The thrilling awareness that God loves you unconditionally just as you are and not as you should be? A small victory over selfishness?
Or were the sources of your gladness and joy a new car, a Brooks Brothers suit, a movie and a pizza, a trip to Paris or Peoria? Are you worshiping idols?