If faith is a journey, it makes sense that we are expected to make progress on the journey. While we may passively grow as God leads us through experiences and lessons learned, what if we could pursue growth? What would it look like to actively work towards a deeper faith?
I am under no delusions that there is one perfect way for this to happen. I’m not convinced that a method or system is the answer. Instead, over next four days, I’d like to suggest four principles that have helped me grow in my faith using an acronym for GROW. The first of these deals with setting goals and is based on content from Craig Steiner’s excellent book Moving Forward by Looking Back.
Principle 1: Set personal discipleship goals in three areas: spiritual disciplines, relationships, and character development. These goals do not need to be incredibly difficult or austere. They simply need to address an area in which you would like to see growth.
Disciplines: Maybe you would like to spend more time praying or sharing your faith. Make a plan that will help you meet that goal. If you want to pray more, perhaps you would set apart a set time or decide to get up earlier. A plan to share your faith more, consider making a list of people who you know need to hear the Gospel (if you don’t know any, consider how you might get out into the community and meet some people who need to meet Jesus).
Relationships: When it comes to relationships, perhaps you choose to work on your relationship with a parent or coworker. Make a commitment to do whatever it takes to heal the relationship or at least move it a few degrees towards healthiness.
Character: When it comes to character, maybe you realize that you struggle with anger or pessimism. Create a plan that will allow you to address those issues. Maybe you need to avoid certain places or people. Maybe you need to read resources that will help you become more apt to address the character issues. You would certainly want to discover and internalize Scripture that will address the issues that you face.
I suggest making these 3-6 month goals with the hope that your spiritual discipline will be internalized and the other areas may have experienced healing and growth. The goals definitely need to be written down, and I’d encourage you to share the goals with your small group, spouse, or mentor.
Tomorrow we’ll check out the next principle and talk about the importance of Scripture in spiritual growth.