Prodigal: Do you think I am growing in the Lord.
Me: I think you are and I am proud of that.
Prodigal: Maybe we can define growth to help others.
This is from the book Life Essentials for Knowing God Better by Tony Evans.
Spiritual growth may be defined as that transformational process by which we allow the indwelling Christ to increasingly express Himself in and through us, resulting in a greater capacity on our part to bring God greater glory and experience His greater good for ourselves.
That’s a mouthful, so here’s a boiled-down version. Spiritual growth is more of Christ being expressed in my life through less of me. John the Baptist said it best. As Jesus’ ministry and popularity grew and John began to step into the background, John’s disciples came to him and said, “Do you realize what’s going on here?”(John 3:22-26). John’s bottom-line answer was, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (v.30). We are growing spiritually when more of Jesus is being expressed through less of our fallen humanity.
This is not a time to try and increase who you are and what people think of you. It is very tempting to say the smallest thing so that people think more of you. No you should decrease. Don’t say anything about yourself, instead talk about Christ. Talk about how amazing He is.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Jennifer Van Allen