Arrested Spiritual Growth

In company with a friend who had recently acquired a vast ranch in Colorado we gathered around an iron cross the ranch manager had made. It was a significant moment of dedication of the ranch by the owner. I have a photo of that moment and looking at it again recently I was amazed at our facial expressions. It was an admirable moment of dedication of ourselves, not just the ranch. It was a spiritual growth marker. We have all had such. However, no matter how deep the dedication is, if we stop growing at any point we have reached arrested spiritual growth.

In one Peanuts comic strip Sally was struggling with her memory verse for Sunday. She was absorbed in her thoughts trying to figure it out when she remembered, “Maybe it was something from the book of Reevaluation.”

Christianity isn’t a static faith. We all need to reevaluate. We are told to “grow in faith and in knowledge.” Our faith is fed by facts, knowledge. They grow together like hands in gloves.

Doctors are required by the profession to attend conferences periodically certain they continue to grow and develop. Other professions require practitioners in their trade to maintain continuing training lest they reach a point of arrested development.

Conference, retreat, and courses are aids to spiritual growth, but not even they are adequate to prevent arrested spiritual growth. Only daily Bible study and prayer coupled with applying what is learned can avoid that. It is expedient to “be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

You and you alone are responsible for your spiritual growth. Why are so many not developing?  “…it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again” Hebrews 5: 11.

It was said of the church in Berea “…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”Acts 17: 11. That is the regimen needed by all Christians. Daily devotion is fundamental for there to be spiritual growth. Be a Berean.

Are you more spiritually mature than at any time in your life? If not, it is likely you have regressed. It used to be called back-slidden.

Make a strategic plan for how you can grow to be more spiritually mature one month from now than you are now.

A group of tourists visiting a picturesque village walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked him, “Were any great men born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”

No one has ever been born spiritually mature, only babies, and that is good.

However, spiritual growth results in fulfillment, and thereby God’s glory is revealed.