“Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen” – 2 Peter 3:18.
Most Christians believe there is a blueprint for spiritual growth and assume that the same methods will produce the same growth in different people, but it doesn’t work that way. Yes, there are standard Christian tenets that we need to follow but the reality is that God created each of us as a unique person. His plan to grow you spiritually will be different than His plan for others. What would grow a rose would not work with a cactus. The rose and the cactus need sunlight and water but in different amounts and conditions. The key is not for all of us to do the same thing but to find the unique, to us, a combination of things that will help us grow spiritually.
Imagine your pharmacy giving everyone the same prescription even though we have different ailments and symptoms. Imagine if every parent used the same rewards and the same punishments. If you want your kids to grow, we have to find out how to parent them that works with who they are as individuals.
Our model for this is God Himself. He always knows what each person needs. He wrestled with Jacob, whispered to Elijah, warned Cain, and comforted Hagar. God never grows two people in a carbon copy manner. But sometimes we think that is the recipe for growth. We hear a popular pastor or read a best-selling book on how we can grow spiritually and we figure if it works for them, it will work for us. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from others, but we need to be aware that it may not work for us. God does not do “one-size-fits-all.”
God has a plan for the you He wants you to be. It will not look exactly like His plan for anyone else, which means it will take time, effort and exploration for you to learn how God wants to grow you. Spiritual growth is hand-crafted, not mass-produced.
Peter is an example. Peter made his livelihood as a fisherman. But Jesus convinced him to become a follower of the Lord. Peter was rash in his thinking and behavior. God was patient in making positive changes in him. As an apostle of the Lord, Peter hastily told the Lord, though all others forsake you, I will never forsake you. But Peter timidly denied he knew the Lord three times. When Jesus saw him after Jesus’ resurrection, he taught Peter about God love and forgiveness.
Spiritual growth is not automatic. The writer of Hebrews noted, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. You have to have a plan. A plan that is unique to you.
- Are you content with your spiritual growth? Where would you like it to be? What needs to change to get it where you want it to be?