Growing By Verbs

  • Feb. 5, 2008
  • #6722

Joni shares that if we aren't growing as Christians, then we are headed backwards in our walk with God.

My girlfriend's little boy, Joshua, is the cutest little guy... and that's what's beginning to alarm my girlfriend because Josh has remained little. When he was a toddler, it was barely noticeable. But now that he's in first grade, his very short stature and small size have signaled that something very fundamental is wrong. Lately Joshua has been going through a barrage of medical tests and doctors are planning a special treatment to wake up his growth hormones.

Whether it's a little boy like Joshua, or it might be a tree or flower or an animal... whatever it is, lack of growth signals a serious problem. A healthy life will always show itself up by growing, by progress, by increase. Anything else begins to look like a sickness or an illness, or even looming death.

And you know what, the same is true for Christians. Believers in Jesus are either growing in him, or going backward. There is no room for in between. It's very much like true love: it either grows or it begins to die. Love simply cannot stand still, and neither can our walk with Christ. You can never kick it into neutral... it's either going forward, or you're back in reverse. The Bible bears this out. In Colossians chapter 1, we are told to bear fruit and grow in the knowledge of God. In Second Thessalonians, we are told that our faith needs to grow more and more. Second Timothy tells us to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you. In Hebrews chapter 6, it's "leave the elementary teachings behind and go on to maturity." Elsewhere in First Peter chapter 2 is says, "crave spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation."

And that's just the beginning. It goes on and on. Life in Christ is one long string of action verbs: grow, learn, stretch, reach, put on, put off, press on, run, produce, stand, fight, and so much more.

So how can you tell if you are growing? It's simple. Ask yourself just a couple of honest, direct questions. Ask if your sense of sin becoming deeper? Is your hope brighter, is it there fresh, new every morning? It's my love toward others more embracing, more tolerant, more extensive? Do I hoard the gifts God gives me, or am I quick to bless others through those gifts? Is my spiritual discernment more clear? Is my faith stronger? And basically, you can boil it down to simply this: do I love Jesus more?

If you can say a hearty "yes" to these questions, then friend you are growing. If not, then you are doing worse than standing still... you are going backward, you are losing the ground you gained. To put it another way, the Christians transmission is equipped with only two gears: drive and reverse. There's no such thing as neutral – let alone park. So, friend, get it into gear today... and get growing. It's your only choice if you are to claim Christ as Lord and Savior.

© Joni and Friends

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