1 Corinthians 13:11
One of the most essential characteristics of human beings is growth. A person that stops growing is no longer alive. Every living thing must grow, this is an intrinsic law of nature. God wants us to grow in every area of our lives (2 Peter 3:18). Jesus also went through the process of growth while he was on earth (Luke 2:40). If we will truly come into the fullness of our inheritance in God, we must grow. God will not hand over great resources into the hands of children (Galatians 4:11). No matter how precious a resource is, a child can make a mess of it in no time. This is because children are still learning to know what’s right and wrong.
No right-thinking Father will hand over a car for a baby to drive. This is because babies are not yet fully developed to handle that stage of life. How much you grow in life will determine how much you can achieve in life.
Growth is not only restricted to the physical area of life. God wants us to grow in other areas too. The amazing thing about bodily/physical growth is that it is the only kind of growth that happens almost automatically. Every other kind of growth is made to happen by your conscious participation. You don’t have to do anything to grow older as a human being, but you have to do a lot before other areas of your life grow. Let’s look at two kinds of growth that God wants you to undergo apart from physical growth:
God wants you to grow up spiritually. Spiritual growth has to do with everything that relates to your walk with God and Christian life. It’s okay to start up as a child in your walk with God but it is wrong to remain a child. A spiritual child deals with milk while a mature person feeds on strong meat. A spiritual child is unskilful in handling the word of God but a spiritual adult is skilful with the Word. A spiritual child does not know the difference between good and evil but a spiritual adult knows the difference (Hebrews 5:12-14). A spiritual child must be spoon-fed and cajoled to follow God but a spiritual adult will never turn back from following God no matter the situation.
God may have so much to say to you, but he can’t reveal deep things to children or they will not know how to handle it (John 16:12). Are you still a child in the spirit? Have you been making progress in your walk with God or not? You cannot be growing and not know it. So, if you have to think about whether you’re growing or not, you’re probably not growing. Your walk with God is a pivotal part of your life. Every other area of your life finds balance from your spiritual life therefore, you must take it seriously.
Ensure you are growing spiritually by doing things that will help you grow spiritually. These include prayer, fasting, Bible study, gathering together with other believers and accountability to them.
Mental growth is very important because it determines how you will think. How you think in turn determines how your life will be. Many grownups still have the mind of a child. As such, you find several petty, childish behaviour in them. The pathway to mental growth is by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2). Mind renewal brings life transformation. For you to grow mentally, you must be ready for your mindset to shift in several ways. You must be ready to drop any mindset that does not align with God’s word. You must learn how to think like Christ (Philippians 2:5). You must allow the word of God to shape your mindset to look like that of Christ.
A lot of mental transformation happens through the word of God and meditation also. The word of God is the manual that contains the thought patterns and mindset of God. When you give yourself to God’s word, you will learn to think like Christ and ultimately act like him.
How Do I Grow?
There are many strategies to apply for growth in every area of your life. Let’s consider a few of them:
Be Open To Learn
People who grow are always flexible. If you will grow you must be teachable. Not everything that you have believed in is right. The way you have known to live all your life may not be the right way to live. You must be open to learning in every area of your life for your growth to be unstoppable. It’s not bad to be wrong from time to time, but its’s really bad when you are wrong and you insist that you are right. God only works with teachable and simple people. God’s word will not give you understanding except you are simple (Psalm 119:130). For growth to keep happening in your life, you must be flexible and simple. Let your loyalty be to the truth always.
Go For Knowledge
Knowledge is the food for growth. When you lack knowledge of how a particular area works, you will never grow in that area. Knowledge brings growth and profit (1 Timothy 4:15). Children remain as children because there is a lot they do not know. The more children learn, the more they grow. In any area where you are seeking growth, make it a constant practice to always read resources and books that will boost your knowledge in that area. As you gain knowledge consistently in an area, you will gain mastery in that area.
Examine your life today. Are you a child in any area? It’s time for you to put away childish things. More awaits you in life, only if you grow up. Remember that as long as there is life, there should be growth. We never stop growing till we die. Keep the growth on!
King James Version (KJV)
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
New International Version (NIV)
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.”