The Most Important Word in Christianity: Part 2, The Missing Ingredient

So what's the missing ingredient?

Again, think about the Fruit of the Spirit. How can we become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled?

Think about hospitality and justice. How can we become more welcoming or stand in greater solidarity with the oppressed?

Or think about spiritual disciplines. How can we become more committed to prayer, fasting, simplicity and Sabbath?

Now think about anything else you'd like to change or improve. How can I lose twenty pounds? Improve my relationship with my spouse? Be a better friend? Take better care of the house, yard or garden? Exercise more and eat better?

What's the word that makes any of this happen? What's the missing ingredient?


Across the board, for all of the questions above, the answer, over and over again, is the same.


There is no magic bullet. There never was. No matter what the next conference, guru, podcast, or best seller is pitching you. In the end, it all boils down to intentionality.

Does your church want to become more hospitable? You're going to have to be intentional about it.

Do you want to be more kind? You're going to have to be intentional about it.

Do you want a deeper prayer life? You're going to have to be intentional about it.

We want a million different things. But we're intentional about hardly any of it.

In short, forgive the hyperbole, the #1 problem in Christianity is this: We want to be like Jesus, but we're not intentional about it.

For example, how many of us woke up today with an intentional goal to be more gentle? I expect very few. Which means, by the end of the year, none of us will have become more gentle. That's a Fruit of the Spirit, a key marker of being like Jesus, totally ignored.

Because we lacked intentionality.

The examples abound. But they all come back to the same conclusion.

You'll never become more like Jesus unless you're intentional about it. And most Christians just aren't.

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