ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY? (Part 2)
“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).
It is a pity that the contemporary Christianity is no longer emphasizing spiritual growth. Our emphases have been shifted from spirituality to religiosity and materialism. Many Christians no longer want to grow in God; they rather want to work for God and expect God in turn to bless them materially. No wonder, many so-called Christians cannot relate with God directly without their so-called spiritual leaders.
Spiritual growth has been misunderstood to be some things that it is not. This has misled some people to think they are growing spiritually. Some of these things are: One, our position in Christ: we are positionally children of God (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:16). He sees us as already perfect in His Son (Colossians 2:10). We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Two, God’s favour: God does not like us better because we are more spiritual than before. God’s love for us is not conditional upon our behaviour. The Bible says, while we were still helpless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies, God showed His great love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins (see Romans 5:6-10). God cannot love us more just because we grow. Three, time: maturity in the spiritual realm is not measured by the calendar. It is possible for a person to be a Christian for half a century and yet remain a spiritual infant. Four, knowledge: facts, data, information, and intelligence cannot be equated with spiritual maturity. Unless your knowledge results in conforming you to Christ, it is useless. Truth that fails to change your life and behavior may in fact be hurtful, hardening you instead of bringing you to maturity. Five, activity: some people make the mistake of assuming that the most mature Christians are always the busiest ones. However, busyness does not necessarily bring maturity, nor can it be substituted for maturity. Excessive activity may, in fact, even hinder what is really vital and important in the Christian life. Busyness cannot earn salvation, let alone bring about spiritual maturity (see Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 10:38-42). Six, prosperity: some people so dedicate themselves to the pursuit of prosperity that they neglect everything else. God might have allowed you to prosper, but that is no mark of spiritual growth. Being poor is neither a sign of spirituality as well! Seven, sinless perfection: some people think that someone who is growing spiritually will not sin. This is based on misinterpretation of some Bible passages especially 1 John 3:9.
Have you been equating your spiritual growth with any of the highlighted things above? That is not it! What spiritual growth entails will be discussed in the last part next week.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to equate my spiritual growth with anything no matter how good the thing may be.