The Spiritual Growth Myth

I remember a time when I was a youth pastor when (would you believe it?) my wife and I clashed heavily with some parents in the youth. After the initial conflict, grace prevailed and we agreed to talk things over. I’ll never forget one of the dads, probably in his late 40’s, apologising and saying to us, “Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we are mature…” That is a fairly self aware thing to say, and now finding myself right about his age I couldn’t agree more!

The myth of spiritual growth is that it will just happen. I can’t see that being true in the slightest. There is nothing that grows without care, attention and perseverance (except maybe weeds?).

I like how Zach Zender, author of ‘Being Challenge’ puts it…

“We’ve been deceived and hypnotized in this world by commercial marketing, which will convince you of problems you don’t have and sells you on the idea of insta-fixes to “cure” your problems.  We’ve been socialized to believe in the fairy-tale endings found in movies and novels and believe in the lies of overnight success.  And for many of us, we’ve lost sight of good, old-fashioned, hard work, slow, but steady, consistent steps in the right direction.

You want to see major difference in your life?  Radical difference?  Extreme difference?  How does it come about?  Author Darren Hardy says this, “Small, smart choices + Consistency + Time = Radical Difference.”

The choices we need to make always revolve around challenging ourselves to in a place where growth is possible. So often that is in the context of community, engaging spiritual disciplines and getting about God’s purposes for your life.

My simple question would be in what way have you positioned yourself for growth? No problem if you haven’t, but keep it up permanently and one day you will look in the mirror and wonder why the old face looking back at you hasn’t gone a lot further on the journey of growth.

Once you answer that question, set a time frame and then here is the most important thing you can do – don’t quit! Stay there. I don’t care if the people annoy you there, you feel uncomfortable, you don’t feel like it that day… In fact truth be told, the more uncomfortable you feel yet the more you turn up, likely the more you will grow.

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