Full Growth

Stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus have meant that the changes which we normally see in small ways were missed. However, it can be really surprising when we are confronted with things or people we haven’t seen for a while.

During the past week, my wife and I had the opportunity to see our eight grandsons for the first time in several weeks. They all had changed—some less and some more in terms of their growth. On the other hand, our grandsons probably thought that granny and grandpa looked older!

This experience caused me to reflect on spiritual growth—the challenge we face in growing as Christians, “…to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). In small ways and in big ways, we are to “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Have you seen Christian growth in others? Do you know people who, over the years, have developed spiritual maturity regarding faith, hope and love? Have you ever been shocked by how much a person has changed their life by growing in the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit?

Now for the hard question, can we see this kind of spiritual growth in ourselves? Do we have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? That is, do we have more of these godly characteristics now than last year or the year before?

Put another way, can we say that we are overcoming—sin, this world and Satan? Are we overcoming our own selfish desires and yielding completely to God’s Will? Let’s remember and never lose sight of the strong admonition Jesus gave to His Church in the passages of chapters two and three of the Book of Revelation. Simply stated, we must be overcomers!

Christians are to reach full growth, and that is perfection, once we are born again members in the Family of God. But we must strive towards that perfection already now (Matthew 5:48). Along the way, we, too, must be showing recognizable growth in godliness. One way to do so is to face up to ways in which we know that we are not growing as we should—and change!

If we do, perhaps we will hear these words spoken to us, “‘Well done, good and faithful servantyou were faithful…” (Matthew 25:21, 23).