Do you tend to have a bias related to growth? Almost instinctively, some people seem to be bent toward growth while others are predisposed to be against it.
I’m convinced, however, that our bias related to growth should be submitted to and shaped by the Scripture. And, even a cursory look at the New Testament reveals a bias in favor of growth and a robust vocabulary related to multi-dimensional, personal and spiritual growth.
Personal Growth. For instance, a verse that every parent and child should know is, in fact, a blueprint for healthy personal growth. Luke 2:52 says that “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (NLT). To grow toward maturity intellectually, physically, spiritually, and relationally pleases God and should be our goal.
Growth of Disciples. Look through the book of Acts and you will discover a trajectory of disciple-making growth. For instance, Acts 6:7 says: “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (ESV). It pleases God when the number of disciples grows.
Growth of the Church. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, he says that when rightly connected to Christ the body of Christ “grows with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19, ESV). Similarly, in Ephesians, he writes that in the church “when each part is working properly,” it “makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16, ESV).
Growth in Christ. Near the end of the New Testament there is a classic exhortation to growth in Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 says:
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
The verb in this verse is an imperative. God expects us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. That occurs as we abide in the Word and walk in the Spirit.
Bottom line: all who follow Christ should have a bias in favor of growth. I am grateful to be part of a church with a long-standing, positive growth bias – all for the glory of God!