Guide for Growth
I’ve heard a lot about spiritual growth lately from Christians who both claim to be growing spiritually and some who have expressed concern over the lack of it in their lives. What amazes me is how many Christians place the blame for their lack of it, or the credit for their spiritual development, squarely on the shoulders of others (i.e. the church, the elders, the preacher). Now, I am certainly not discounting the importance of others to our growth in Christ. I have been blessed beyond measure with faithful, godly individuals (family members, friends, mentors) who have contributed profoundly to my edification in the faith.
However, it seems that our societal propensity to skirt personal responsibility and to desire plausible deniability has polluted the church and infected our personal spiritual lives. If we fail spiritually we want to pass the buck and blame someone else. At the same time we want to be blessed by God and to be spiritually minded but we seem to want someone else to do it for us. Fundamentally it should be clear that the tools God has placed all around us (church fellowship, sound preaching and teaching, godly leadership) are just that — tools!
But personal spiritual growth demands personal spiritual effort. Personal responsibility in…
Regular Worship: One caveat here is that where you worship is essential to proper spiritual growth. If you worship with a church that does not preach or practice the truth you will NOT receive the proper spiritual growth you need to be pleasing to God. But having a faithful church family will not ensure spiritual growth if you neglect the regular worship assemblies of the body (Hebrews 10:25; Matthew 6:33). It has been my experience that some of the weakest members of the church, and often those who complain about a lack of spiritual growth (or who simply display spiritual immaturity), are those who are the most irregular in their attendance.
Regular Bible Study : It is beyond the reach of this article to address the general ignorance of irreligious people concerning what the Bible actually says. Yet it is a sad commentary on the state of the church today that far too few Christians spend any real quality time with God’s Word. Consider that Paul wrote, “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17). If one hopes to stand before God justified in Judgment then he would be wise to know what it really says (John 12:48). Both regular private and group study is essential and often those who study in a vacuum don’t really grow spiritually, while they are deceived into thinking otherwise.
Regular Prayer : The Spirit inspired the apostle’s pen to command the Christian to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:12). Speaking with God regularly will help one to be more aware of his blessings, more thankful, less self – involved and humble and more concerned for others. The less time one spends communicating with God the less spiritual he will be.
Regularly Fellowship With Positive Christian Influences : Mankind is a creature that does not do well isolated from others. We are social creatures who need regular engagement with others. We are also highly influenced by those with whom we engage. For proper spiritual growth one would be wise to avoid not only evil company (1 Corinthians 15:33) but also those who are negative and disruptive to harmony and unity.
If we really want to live a good life, grow in our knowledge and relationship with God, and spend eternity in heaven when this life is over it is imperative that we take personal responsibility for our spirituality. Each one will give an answer for himself in judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10; Ezekiel 18:19; Ecclesiastes 12:13 – 14). But caution should be exercised less we over – valuate ourselves. While we need to take personal responsibility for our salvation, without the Lord, and without other faithful brethren, we ourselves are nothing. Be faithful