This past weekend I spoke on spiritual growth at Mountainview (catch the podcast here) as part of our “The Passionate Life of MRS GREN” series. I spent most of the teaching time debunking common spiritual growth myths.
Myth number one: Spiritual growth just happens. You don’t have to do anything, it just happens. While that might be nice, it’s not true. It would also be nice if simply walking in the vicinity of the gym would make my muscles pop out. I’d settle for having to walk within the shadow of the gym.
The truth is: spiritual growth begins with a choice. In Philippians 2:12-13 Paul praises the Philippian church for being obedient both in his presence and absence. But he doesn’t take it for granted that they will always be faithful. That’s why he encourages them to continue to be obedient. Even as we mature, it still takes a choice.
Myth number two: Spiritual growth is for the select few. This myth believes that real maturity, real spiritual power is reserved for the likes of Abraham, Moses, or David. Or perhaps in our own day, the Billy Grahams and Mother Theresa’s. It’s for people who play the game at a different level.
The truth is: anyone can grow spiritually if they choose to and take steps to begin growing. Paul recognizes the value of physical training (1 Timothy 4:7-8) but tells us that those who “train themselves to be godly” enjoy even greater benefits. The key word is train. Those we consider “spiritual giants” didn’t wake up one morning and all of sudden become a spiritual giant. It’s more likely they have trained themselves to be godly.
Coming later … myths three and four.