Growing By Going Beyond
We have all seen a toddler crawling around a room, eagerly eying furniture that can be used for leverage when the time comes for "pulling¬up." We have also seen that toddler reach the pull-up stage and move to walking with o holds." We rightly praise and encourage such behavior. We know that growth is only achieved by going beyond present circumstances. What we sometimes forget is that we (adults) need to grow also. That growth, though it may be imperceptible to the eye, is still real growth. Let us consider some things we need to move beyond in order for us to grow spiritually.
Let's first go beyond our own expectations. We like the toddlers need to reach up and pull up to whatever is the next task or stage in our growth. Our achievements will only be as high as our highest goals. If we aspire to be pew-warmers only, that is all we will be. Our minds will not be engaged in the private study of the word of God and our faith will not be challenged by the word's clash with the world in our daily life. We dare not be content with "just being religious." Here is a challenge for us: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children" (Ephesians 5:1). That ought to raise our goal.
Second. let's go beyond hurts, losses, and failures. There is no doubt about it, in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33), or trouble. Persecution is to be expected (2 Timothy 3:12). Further, physical accidents and health failures occur regularly, as does death. Christians are not immune to any of these things. Therefore, when these occur in our lives, we must deal with them in a realistic, optimistic manner. This in no way minimizes the importance of our own health or the personhood of those we love. However, if not handled correctly, our trials can cause us to suffer serious mental and spiritual consequences.