I often ask myself, “Why do some people grow in their faith when others do not?” One person accepts Jesus as their Savior and begins to grow and mature into a wonderful Godly person. The other person accepts Jesus as their Savior and remains at the same level of faith for years with no signs of growth or maturity. Is the difference the person or the circumstances that surround them? This question leads me to analyze my own life. What has helped me the most to grow as a believer in my faith? I think I have four solid answers.
1. Listening to Sermons – I know this is not at the top of everyone’s list, but it has been huge for me. Through the years I have listened to thousands of sermons and now iTunes help feed the hunger. I love hearing the Bible explained, listening to various points of application and the stories of life all intermixed. Honestly, even poor sermons give me the chance to hear scripture proclaimed and teach me something about my faith. It is rare that I walk away completely empty and I remind myself that one gallon of gas will get me further down the road of faith than nothing.
2. Spending Time With Other Christians – I love spending time with other people of faith, especially those who have experienced life yet remain grounded in their beliefs. I learn from their words, their attitudes and their actions. Much of my faith has been molded by people God has used to say the right word at the right time. Rarely did they know what was happening, but in reflection their life changed me.
3. Serving Other People – Nothing pushes people to grow like serving. It moves us beyond ourselves and into the lives of others. It demands that we learn in order to teach others. It gives me the opportunity to test my faith when I would rather hide. Even when it feels like I have failed miserably God does things that I had never imagined. Serving is an opportunity for growth in me and through me.
4. Decisive Moments – There have been moments that I heard or saw something that radically changed my views. Sometimes this comes through a sermon. Sometimes it comes through conversation. I have never known when or where these moments were going to strike, but they always come unexpectedly. In those moments I have made decisions that were life altering. Through my life I have decided to go to Bible college, I have lost a best friend, a started preaching, worked with a new Church and a dozen other moments have come that God used to direct my life to new levels of faith.
So that’s my list. I know there are other small things I could add to it but these are the big ones. What would be on your list? Is there anything you would add or change?
Here is the funny part about all of these. All of them can be found in Church every Sunday morning. Yes, they can be found outside of Church too. But all of them are offered every week to anyone who wants to grow. Real growth happens not when we do some big event, it usually happens through the weekly grind of the ordinary.