5 Ingredients Needed for Your Personal Spiritual Growth
As Christians, we are called upon to set an example of what is good and pure in this world, so that people of other faiths will notice that there is something unique and different about the followers of Jesus Christ.
“You are the light for the whole world….your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt 5: 14 – 16).
While, just being good Christians does qualify us to be “the light for the whole world”, it certainly does not provide us with a blanket permit for our light to “shine before people”.
The intensity of our Christian light’s brightness will be directly proportional to the degree of our personal spiritual growth.
Remember, even in the darkest night, no one notices a dim bulb that flickers. Now, a neon glow sign. That is something that attracts immediate attention, even at dawn or dusk.
The five ingredients needed for personal spiritual growth are:
1) Our closeness to Jesus spiritually.
The moon has no light of its own, but only reflects the light it receives from the sun. Similarly, mankind merely reflects the spiritual light we receive from the Lord, and the degree of intensity of that light depends on how close we are spiritually to Jesus.
Mt 4: 25 tells us: “Large crowds followed him from Galilee and the Ten Towns, from Jerusalem, Judaea, and the land on the other side of the Jordan.” Yet, Jesus did not preach the beautiful Sermon on the Mount to these crowds.
He taught the secrets to true happiness only to those who were close to him, his disciples, for Mt 5: 1 – 2 goes on to tell us: “Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered round him, and he began to teach them.”
2) Our brokenness, be it material, emotional, or even spiritual.
Mk 14: 3 narrates how a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. The perfume’s rich fragrance was revealed only when the jar was broken.
Our brokenness opens the door to the Lord and is an essential ingredient needed for our personal spiritual growth. It’s only when we are broken that the Lord can mould us anew, to emit Christian fragrance around us.
3) Our willingness to forsake our comforts.
Too much of good things make us spiritually lazy, and the only way to personal spiritual growth is to give up these comforts. Lk 9: 57 tells us of a man who told Jesus that he would follow him wherever he went, but when Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lie down and rest”, the man was found wanting. Although he was ready to follow Jesus anywhere, he wanted to cart his comforts along with him!
4) Our ability to get our priorities right – Jesus should come first at all times.
In Lk 9: 59, we read how Jesus called a man to follow him, but that man wanted to go back and bury his father first, and the Lord rebuked him, saying, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” There is no personal spiritual growth when we try to move ahead with the walking stick held the wrong end up!
5) Our ability to sever our earthly emotional attachments.
Another man said, “I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus said to him, “Anyone who starts to plough and then keeps looking back is no use to the Kingdom of God” (Lk 9: 61).
It is clear, therefore, that we can attain the zenith of our personal spiritual growth by giving first place in our hearts to the Lord, and he will respond by making you a worthy beacon of Christian light.
Filed under: Personal Care
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