Growth: The process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.
I have been growing my whole life, and so have you. Growth will happen as long as you are here and will never stop. It’s part of who we are. Some parts of our growth we are not involved in and some we are. I am not involved in how tall I become or how little my hair may grow. I am involved in how I grow in my education, physical fitness, and as a Christian.
Sometimes our growth is explosive and sometimes not so much. I remember when I was wrestling in middle school, I was in a lower weight class, and when I became a freshman, I jumped quite a few weight classes. I realized my strength did not follow that explosive growth. I had to workout to catch my strength up to my weight. My growth as a Christian has been very steady, but there have been times that my growth leaped forward several years, in what felt like a blink of an eye. The interesting thing is, in those explosive growth times, I felt as if I was not growing at all until I looked back at them. I learned that God was growing me more than I could ever grow myself.
We all want to grow, but often we are not sure how to go about it or why we should. Sometimes we even engage in behavior that is not growing us at all. We tend to think when it comes to growing as a Christian, the only way to grow is through things like; having perfect attendance at church, memorizing scripture, and always having the right answers (It’s Jesus btw). These are essential disciplines, but when we think these are the most important, we are focused in the wrong direction.
Here are three reasons why we should pursue growth as a Christian.
1- It’s essential, as Paul celebrated to the Thessalonians: Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NLT).
2- It’s necessary, as Hebrews makes plain: Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14 ESV, emphasis added).
3- It’s commanded, as Peter instructs, But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 ESV).
Our growth is a process where we join God and others. We are involved in the process, but we are not in control of it. God is the sole provider of our growth, but we have a role to play. Paul writes in a letter to the church at Corinth; I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6–7 ESV). We should never minimize the value of growing in Christ. It is essential, necessary, and commanded.