Growth is key to a successful Christian life. It is not enough just to get saved and then to stay child like for the rest of your life. Physically that would be an impossibility for where there is life, there is always growth. Have you ever seen a 30 year old who still had the features of a baby? No? Thought not. But spiritually we don’t grow automatically. We are to pursue it as Peter told us in 2 Peter 3 v18 “Grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ”. So that’s one reason why we are looking at the subject of growth in our life groups this term.
Lets repeat that thought, so we all get it. Though physical ageing is inevitable, spiritual growth is not automatic in the Christian life. We all know that there are many people, who say they have professed faith years, or decades ago, and yet there is so little evidence of growth or grace in their life. They are cantankerous and difficult, awkward and self centred and lacking in love and compassion for the needy. In short they just haven’t grown - growing old is never the same thing as growing up! Sometimes we have been fooled into thinking that if we just ‘hang around’ church and Christian things long enough we will become mature people of God. Not so!
So pursue growth – keep growing and keep maturing in the things of God. Look at things in your life as opportunities for growth, as ‘growth moments’. Stuck in traffic? Learn patience, not road rage. Struggling financially? Learn trust and better financial management skills, not panic. Health difficulties? Learn confidence in the sovereign God, not fear of the future. Difficult relationships in your life? Learn to change, adapt, accept, not running away. Things going great in your life? Learn contentment and peace and gratitude, not arrogance. Everything actually can become a ‘growth moment’ in your life, if you let it and if you are aware of it.
I put that into practice this week. I was with some people and finding the conversation very frustrating. I could actually feel some negative feelings rising within me. I paused and remembered Peter’s words and realised this was actually a moment when I could learn greater patience. It was an opportunity for me to grow. I'm not sure I did well in learning it, but I'm learning to learn. Why not join me in pursuing growth?