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Spiritual Growth Steroids

September 19, 2014

“Maturity takes time.”

—Alan Fadling

Hi, my name’s Joe, and I play guitar.

(And in the silence of our minds, some of us just heard a group say, “Hi, Joe.”)  (But that’s another story for another time.)

I’ve been playing guitar since 3rd grade, when a family friend showed me some chords.

Along the way, others showed me more stuff.  I’ve even taught people how to play, and loved every minute of it.  It’s been a fun ride since 3rd grade.

But here’s the problem: let’s say somebody has been playing guitar for 10 years.  Has that person made 10 years’ worth of advancement?  Or only 1 year, or even less time, simply repeated for 10 years?  There’s a difference.

Grabbing a nearby guitar and hammering a few familiar chords or licks is fun.  But putting the instrument down after banging through a few favorites doesn’t take the player forward.

It’s true in our faith development as well.  “Maturity cannot be hurried, programmed, or tinkered with,” writes Eugene Peterson.  “There are no steroids available for growing up in Christ more quickly.”

I’m afraid I can name a few spiritual steroids I’ve tried.  Some were tasty samples, a few became addictive, but none worked for long without negative side effects.

Jesus had a lot to say about this in Luke 18:4-15.  It’s a short story about our spiritual growth and development, told as a seed-planting process.  It ends with this phrase: “bring forth fruit with patience.”

Maybe today the right spritiual practice for some of us is to slow down and prayerfully read Luke 18:4-15.  

Apply as needed.

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  1. Sent you a PM in Facebook!


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