But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  II Peter 3:18, NLT

     I’ve always been a voracious reader. And I’ve always had a desire to honor God with my life. So it makes sense that I read a lot of books about how to be a better, stronger, growing Christian. I worked at it! But one day I realized it felt like there was a lot of information without any transformation. So I did something that I now know has been called “The Zorro Circle.” Here’s how writer Shawn Achor describes the Zorro Circle:

     In the story of Zorro, he was not always the courageous, swashbuckling, chandelier-swinging hero fo books and movies. After some failed and abortive attempts to fight villains and defend the powerless, he ended up a despairing and broken drunk. That when the aging sword master Don Diego arrived, took him  under his wing, and began to retrain him by drawing a small circle in the dirt and forcing him to fight within that circle alone. Once he mastered that, he was allowed to face bigger and bigger challenges until he became the all-conquering Zorro we know from films.

     So I decided instead of reading volumes of books, I would ask God to help me start by focusing on one area of my life, find a book that helped with that and just keep re-reading that book until I felt I had a grasp of that subject. I chose a book on hope by Neil Anderson to help to combat my naturally cynical response to life and to God. Then I moved on to the next subject (a book on fear) and read that until I felt released in that area of my life.

     It really worked. I began to see small progress in my life and growth. Maybe you could think about doing this. Pick one small circle (one area of your life—maybe envy or Bible reading) and pray over that. Do battle in that small circle and then move on to the next (lust or people-pleasing). By focusing on one small circle at a time, you can begin to see big victories!

*What small circle would you choose to begin to start to see growth in your life?

Teacher, help me to begin taking small steps to grow in grace. In my impatience I’m often unwilling to start small because it will take too long, when, in fact, it is the way to progress and growth. Thank You for helping me and teaching me Your life-giving truth. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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