From time to time in our Christian lives we look at our life and conclude “I’m not growing”. And, we may be right in that assessment. It is easy to not grow (just “take charge” of your life and shut out the Lord), but on our part it takes some effort and it takes humility to grow. Where we can be wrong though is assessing exactly WHY I’m a “shrinking violet” spiritually speaking.
Like our father and mother before us, we can also so easily blame others before looking inward. Note the wording here in Genesis, “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (3:11), This was the Lord asking Adam to assess his heart. Like Adam, we have been commanded to grow (2Pt.3:18) as he was commanded to obey the Lord with reference to another simple command (which if he complied would bring fantastic blessing, which if we do brings the same !). We know Adam’s response: “The woman Whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree; and I did eat.” (v.12) – Sure, Adam, we’re not buying what you’re selling, pal !! And we know that Adam was implying blame to, oddly enough and ultimately, the LORD !! And he was also inferring he had no choice in the matter for Eve “gave me” – again, how lame ! Man up, Adam !!
Well, what about us? Whenever we notice a lethargy in us spiritually, we must be swift to look at US ! And we must not make the same deadly mistake Adam and Eve did by glossing over our own poor choices and misdiagnosing the real problem. It’s easy to think “I’ve been so busy” – there are people who are busier and still grow; “the sermons have been pretty dry” (I have always been amazed that when someone claims they are not being fed. Usually in the same week someone else will tell me the exact opposite !) – have you prayed before you hear the sermon for God to speak to you and work in your heart? Have you prepared your heart for the Word? Or allowed things to clutter the reception (like tin foil years ago on those old TV attennae, we need to ramp up the reception by a clean & listening heart). How easy it is to muddy our hearts with sin and when the Lord tries to do His Work in our heart, we shut it down because of a cold heart. Its much “easier” to avoid dealing with someone who has offended you than looking at yourself first (do I really have all the facts, maybe I am jumping the gun, etc.) and then trying to lovingly resolve the matter but then we stew and the offense grows like a cancer and harms us and other around us spiritually.
I love the parable Christ gave about the sower and the seed. “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.” (Matt.13:8). Is your “ground” good today? Is confession of sin a priority and cultivating a tender heart by regular renewal of reading and heeding the Word? GROW in grace, you’ll be glad you did because when it all comes down to it, its much easier in the long run !