23. How We Grow


God wants you to grow up. His goal is for you to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing. Jesus calls us, and we respond. When the first disciples chose to follow Jesus, they didn't understand all the implications of their decision. They simply responded to Jesus' invitation.

Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments will define you. Every choice has eternal consequences, so you had better choose wisely.

God's part and your part.
Christlikeness is the result of making Christlike choices and depending on his Spirit to help you fulfill those choices. Once you decide to get serious about becoming like Christ, you must begin to act in new ways. You will need to let go of some old routines, develop some new habits, and intentionally change the way you think. You can be certain that the Holy Spirit will help you with these changes. God's Spirit works with us, not just in us. God has given you a new life; now you are responsible to develop it.

Change the way you think.
To change your life, you must change the way you think. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude. To be like Christ you must develop the mind of Christ. The Bible says, "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act. There are two parts to doing this:

  1. Stop thinking thoughts, which are self-centered and self-seeking thoughts.
  2. Start focusing on others, not yourself.


Today many assume that spiritual maturity is measured by the amount of biblical information and doctrine you know. But the Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions; it includes conduct and character. Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle.


Question to Consider:

What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God's way?


Verse to Remember:

Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of  your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God-what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.

Romans 12:2