Tuesday, February 22, 2011
What Spiritual Growth is Not
In 2 Peter 3:18, Peter emphasizes that we "grow in grace". There are many things written about how to grow spiritually, but I want to point out a few obvious things that spiritual growth is not.
1. It has nothing to do with our position in Christ. We don't grow into being a Christian. We become a new creation at the very moment that we accept the gift of salvation by faith. 2 Peter 1:3 says we have been given everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him.
2. It is not a matter of God's favor or God's love. Romans 5 is clear that God loved us when we were lost sinners. And as a believer, God still loves us immeasurably and unconditionally.
3. It has nothing to do with time. Some believers go through their entire life with very little growth. Others have known Christ for a short period of time and have grown in huge proportions.
4. It is not a matter of knowledge alone. It is not about what we know, rather it is what we do with what we know that matters. Knowledge alone puffs us up. It is only when the facts contribute to transformation that knowledge has anything to do with growth.
5. It has nothing to do with busyness. Being active in the church does not equal spiritual growth, it just makes you tired and can burn you out emotionally and physically.
6. It definitely has nothing to do with prosperity. Sorry health and wealth preachers! You are wrong! A rich American is no more spiritually mature than the the little orphan believer in Haiti or Africa. So stop going to these countries and spreading your false teachings. One's economic status does not gain you favor with God or a promotion on the spiritual growth ladder. God may have blessed you financially, but that is not a yardstick for spiritual growth. And if He has, I pray you are blessing others with your abundance to His glory.