Growth

I really luxuriate when my almost 3 year old Daphne says spaghetti. In my earlier parenting years I would have corrected the child. As I did with the older two. Because I wanted them to be exceedingly smart. Today I role with it. Actually I join in.

“Yes Daphne were having boo-gat-ee”

she will often repeat the word in excitement

“boo-gat-ee! Boo-gat-ee!”

I think it’s pretty funny that when she says the word spaghetti it sounds like Bugatti. An outsider wouldn’t be able to tell if we were having an Italian pasta dish or a French made high performance automobile for dinner.  I quickly drew a commonly understood analogy out of it. Being young in your faith or a baby Christian is identical to being a young person. The ties here are almost endless. I mean as we know every analogy will break down at some point. But even Paul mentions this in Hebrews 5:13-14 and though he is referring to a situation where believers have digressed instead of grown. There is no shame in being a baby Christian except for one thing…how long you are a baby Christian. That’s why Paul is rebuking the Jewish believers. It’s the equivalent of my 5 year old wanting to wear diapers. “uhh no we already passed that mile marker” she knows better.

How humble would we have to be to admit some of us are still baby Christians. I understand we don’t want to be. We want the freedom that comes with maturity.  My kids want to play outside with out me having to watch them, They want to play with scissors. Teenagers want to drive and go out with friends to undisclosed locations. As believers we yearn for such things spiritually. Starting a business, opening churches, or following our ambitions. But how catastrophic would it be if I handed my 4 year old the car keys? Even if we have areas in our life where we really notice growth we have to be gut wrenchingly honest of our evaluation and our dedication to Gods process. The same way a 13-old turns 14 and goes through puberty. She is gaining the body of a women but is she ready for marriage? mothering? just because we notice this large growth doesn’t mean there are other areas that are fiercely lacking. Other areas that we must work on. Other areas that are catching up at a slower pace.

Why? Why, If the goal of Christianity isn’t perfection do we have to work on these things? I can’t speak for the world but as for myself and many in my circle. I long deeply to be closer to God. God is only good. Not able to be measured by man’s morals. Not a really nice person. He is the true good.  The more I lean into Him the more I quiet myself and listen the more He rubs off on me. I noticed this the other day in a rather bold way

I’m shy, beyond shy. fear of man is a struggle in my life. I’m the last person to want to stand out in a crowd. One Saturday morning I was spending time in the word and was really fired up. Its been a goal of mine to meet all our neighbors and there was one who lives 2 houses down that has a baby that I hadn’t yet become acquainted with. I saw her walking down the road with her baby in front of my house. almost with out control over my body I jumped out the door and introduced myself.

If you don’t know me let me tell you. That is not me. I shamefully avoid my neighbors sometimes because I just don’t want to talk. I jumped out the door so quick by the time I was outside I didn’t even know what to say and stumbled over my words.

“uh hi you have a baby! I’m Alison, I also have a baby. Well I have more babies….”

 

Yea it was bad.

Growth is uncomfortable. The same way my 8 month old will cry out for hours as he gnaws on my fingers and frozen fruit I offer up in attempt to pacify him. sometimes we are really in step with God we will grow fast in some areas so we end up with stretch marks. As we grow we realize that our old clothes don’t fit us.  The same way a certain lifestyle may seems distasteful. We don’t want to drink as much, don’t want to watch the same things, don’t want to gossip. It just doesn’t fit us anymore.

So this is my prayer for who ever is reading this. At whatever stage of life you may be. I pray that you would meet growth. That you wouldn’t be as Mark Batterson calls a 5 year Christian with a 10 year experience. I pray that you would really trust God enough to grow.

It will be hard. It will be uncomfortable. Countercultural, and even seem cruel sometimes.

But God is weaving a fractal of all people and nations and decisions. J.D Greer once gave this picture of those huge woven tapestry’s. on one side it looks like a chaotic mess but on the other side it’s a beautiful picture. You are apart of a beautiful picture. Be encouraged dear believer.

 

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless you fail the test. And I hope you will recognize that we do not fail the test. Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong — not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear to fail.

For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. In fact, we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. We also pray that you become fully mature. This is why I am writing these things while absent, that when I am there I will not use severity, in keeping with the authority the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.

 

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” 2 Corinthians 13:5-13

 

To God Be The Glory

 


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