There are two places where spiritual growth can happen in the life of a believer.
The first is whenever we step out of the crowd to experience silence and solitude. Sometimes we need to step away from the noise and busyness of life to listen for the voice of God. A quiet morning reading the scripture or pausing for prayer can allow God to work in the deepest parts of our souls.
The second place we can grow is in community. The group can force me into situations that help me expand my heart and mind. I can learn from the wisdom of the aged and share my insights with the next generation. People are often the hammer God uses to mold our souls into more loving, grace-filled, and knowledgeable people.
For most people, the tendency is to lean strongly into one of these facets. We love to be alone, or we thrive on community. Faith’s challenge is pushing ourselves into the place that makes us the most uncomfortable. In those spaces, we experience the growth we might not expect.
Stretching ourselves to step away from people or draw closer to them will cause us anxiety and headaches, but those are often the very things we need to become like Christ.