Essential to Growth

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“All growth that is not toward God is growing to decay.” – George Macdonald

Look back on your life–five years, ten years, twenty years,–see how much you’ve changed. Your values have changed, your thoughts, your actions. You have so much more experience, more wisdom, more knowledge. See how you’ve grown.

Growth is necessary for everyone. We have no control over it. It occurs whether or not we like it. But, we do have control over where we will grow, how we will grow, and whether we will promote our growth.

Proverbs gives us a glimpse into ways in which we are to promote our personal growth. Look at Proverbs 27:17:

Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.

To promote growth in our lives, we must surround ourselves with people who can push us towards God–people who help make our edges razor sharp. Be mentored by someone wiser than you and allow their wisdom to fall upon you. Ask great questions to that person who has more experience than you and watch as the doors of knowledge and understanding are unlocked. Allow someone else to sharpen you.

Proverbs 26:11 says this:

Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who reverts to his folly.

My apologies for the crude description but that’s the Bible for you. It got your attention, didn’t it?

What is the writer of this proverb saying? Don’t make the same mistake twice! Notice, the writer isn’t discouraging you from making mistakes. Making mistakes is a natural and necessary part of growth.

Make your mistakes, learn from them, and then move on. Grow from your follies. Mature from your missteps. To use the proverb writer’s unfortunate metaphor: Go ahead and vomit. But move on.

Look at this final proverb:

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

The essential ingredient to growth is allowing God to direct your steps. The Lord won’t necessarily lead you down the most comfortable paths or the most desirable. God’s way will stretch you and it will challenge you. It may even be painful.

But it will also strengthen you. It will stretch you. It will shape you. It will grow you.

Like a plant that stretches toward the light, God wants us to grow towards Him. He will put people in our life that we are to learn from. People who will sharpen our blunt edges and expand our minds. God will be there when we make mistakes. He will encourage us and push us on, so we may learn from our missteps rather than return to them.

God will direct us. Listen for His voice. Follow His leadings.

And then look back and see how far He’s brought you.

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