Growing in faith
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 As we are growing up in our lives we go through a process of evaluation. Our progress is measured to find out how much we have grown and developed. The doctor will examine us physically and will determine if we have a clean bill of health. In school, we are given tests to evaluate how we have been progressing in learning the subject matter. In our work, we are evaluated if we are effective in the assigned responsibilities based on the position we are assigned. Yet, as Christians we tend to neglect to find out how much we have grown in our relationship with God. If we happen to measure our spiritual growth usually we measure it in terms of how much time we spend praying or reading the Bible or have we been attending church regularly. From the text, the Apostle Paul made an assessment on how he had progressed in his spiritual life. He determined his growth comparing his ability to make decisions based on godly principles. From behaving like a child when he was new in faith into becoming an adult as he matures in his faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ was described as has grown “increasing in stature” from infanthood to adulthood (Luke 2:52). “The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” (Mark 6:2). The people that heard Him preached were amazed in his wisdom. The better the people knew Jesus, the more they believed and trusted Him. When you are still in your infanthood, there is nothing wrong when you act like a baby. But there is something wrong when you are not growing and not even pursuing attaining spiritual maturity. It is God’s desire that we grow in our relationship with Him. This growth is manifested in our ability to apply God’s word in our daily living. “So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding” (Hebrews 6:1). When you are a new believer, you find it difficult to establish relationship with others in a healthy way. You easily lose your temper that leads you to think of getting even when you are hurt. But as you grow in faith in God, you learn how to be patient and forgiving. Paul urged the believers in the church at Ephesus to exhibit the maturity as each one relates with one another in the body of Christ. “I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Ephesians 4:1-2). God is pleased if you pursue growing in conformity to His image. This is why it is always helpful to measure how you have grown in your faith and relationship with God. Find a mature believer that is willing to help you assess if your actions or decisions are based in biblical principles. If you find yourself stagnating in your spiritual growth it could be that you need to rekindle your first love to God. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first” (Revelation 2:4-5).