My friend just sent a proud announcement for the birth of his daughter. The email contained the usual – her name, weight, and length. Also included was her excellent APGAR score. "APGAR score?" some of you might ask. 

APGAR scoring is a wonderfully simple but vitally important expression of theinternal condition of a newborn by measuring external factors. Done at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth, this test gives helpful information to doctors and nurses. Healthcare professionals record on a scale of 0-2:

  A – activity (muscle tone) 0 1 2  
  P – pulse 0 1 2  
  G – grimace (reflex irritability) 0 1 2  
  A – appearance (skin color) 0 1 2  
  R – respiration 0 1 2  

A score of 7-10 is good, a score of 4-6 needs close observation and repeat testing and a score of 0-3 needs immediate medical attention. 

So what would a spiritual APGAR measure? What are the external evidences ofinternal faith, belief and trust? Our APGAR is measured as fruit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22)

God seems to say that we have our own APGAR test in the form of fruitful living, revealing the condition of our hearts quite clearly. So how would we score?

  Love + Joy 0 1 2  
  Peace + Patience 0 1 2  
  Kindness + Goodness 0 1 2  
  Faithfulness + Gentleness 0 1 2  
  Self-control 0 1 2  

Setting aside the offensive notion of scoring spirituality, consider whether our scores would be

Good, or
needs close observation, or
needs immediate attention.

Seems like fodder for a good chat with God since Jesus tells us, "By their fruit you will recognize them. . . " (Matthew 7:16a)


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder