For many people the ‘cost of living index’ affects their annual income. Some employment contracts guarantee a salary based on the cost of living; or income from retirement funds paid in a given year is based on the cost of living for the past year.
The cost of living is affected by the inflation or deflation of the economy. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, “The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical workers and is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” (downloaded 12/6/2013 http://www.nasi.org/discuss/2013/10/what-you-need-know-about-social-securitys-2014-cola?gclid=CPnK75DZm7sCFaTm7AodeAcA9g)
If the cost of living increases 1.5%, it simply means that you will pay, on an average, 1.5% more for housing, food, transportation, etc. But by increasing your salary, retirement fund, etc., by 1.5% theoretically you will be able to maintain the same level of satisfaction.
The satisfaction in our Christian life is much the same as our financial satisfaction. We have a factor that indicates the space between us and God. We might call it “sinflation”. As we draw closer to God, our satisfaction with the Christian life increases. As we get further from God, our satisfaction with the Christian life decreases.
As we follow our own selfish desires, the Holy Spirit is pushed from our lives causing us to move away from God. As our society moves away from God, we are also drawn away from God. This happened many times to the Children of Israel as they moved from good kings to bad kings and back again.
With the Children of Israel, as they pulled away from God, their satisfaction also decreased. They would turn to idols and take on the traditions of the society around them in an effort to increase their satisfaction, however their satisfaction continued to decrease.
As sinful pressures work against our spiritual lives, the ‘sinflation’ level increases. When our ‘sinflation’ increases, we need to draw more on the Holy Spirit to maintain the same degree of satisfaction from life. In other words, our spiritual salary needs to increase.
As we prepare to start a new year, perhaps we need to take a look at our spiritual condition. Has your spiritual satisfaction decreased or increase over the past year? Has your ‘sinflation’ rate caused you to draw closer to God or move further from God? What is you ‘sinflation’ rate? Do you need to make some changes so you can enjoy the full satisfaction of walking in the Spirit?