Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Purpose of Spiritual Growth

Written by Matt Wooley

Pretty much every Christian, in some way, wants to grow. And that’s a good thing! We don't always know how God grows us, and that's what The Current is largely about.

But we also need to talk about why. What's the purpose of spiritual growth?

Here's the starting point: the purpose of spiritual growth isn't “spiritual growth.” 

In the Christian life, growth isn't the goal. Jesus is the prize (Heb. 12:2)! As followers of Jesus, saved by Him, our lives become about God and His priorities.

This makes our motivations for growth a little bit tricky. In some sense spiritual growth is about us--we are called to put off our old self and put on the new (Eph. 4:20-24), we want to plant and water (1 Cor. 3:5-9) our hearts, minds, and souls--but ultimately none of that is for ourselves.

We've talked a lot about the idea of incurvatus in se (to curve in on oneself). This means that at the root of sin we find the tendency to make everything about us. And we can even do that with something as good as spiritual growth!

So here's the big, challenging, gut check, bottom line: If we want to really grow, we might need to stop making growth about us. We will probably grow more as we begin to grasp that it's actually not about us and begin to see our lives as part of God's bigger purposes and plans.

The purpose of spiritual growth isn't to have a better life or to feel better about my life.
The purpose of spiritual growth definitely isn't to make much of myself.
The purpose of spiritual growth is to be free to make much of God and to make much of others.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matt. 22:36-39)
This is why we talk about every Hillsider knowing how to grow selflessly. And we're glad to be in this current together--making much of God and others!

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