Before I introduce more lessons, it is important that I pause to dispel some of the greatest myths ever created about Spiritual Growth and in its place; it is my obligation to tell you the truth. I know of seven such myths about spiritual maturity. There might just be more. You are free to join in and leave your myths below. So let’s jump right in shall we…
The number one ( 1 ) and most important Myth ever created is these famous words:
It’s too hard. It takes up too much time, energy, and too much effort!
1st Myth About Spiritual Growth: It’s Too Hard
Have you heard any of these before?
- It’s too hard
- Your asking me to give up my whole life and hobbies
- Where am I gonna find the time for this?
And the most famous of them all…
- We all are sinners; no one can be perfect here on earth, so why bother?
Well pardon me, but I beg to differ.
It is not too hard. Saying spiritual growth is too hard only makes spiritual growth unreachable in our eyes. But spiritual maturity is most definitely is reachable. How do I know this?
Have you ever heard of the man named Job? Let’s see what the bible says about him. Job 1: 1
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil”
Wow! Well according to God’s word this man named Job, lived on earth, in the land of Uz, thousands of years ago and he was perfect.
So if Job can be perfect and upright and fear God, why is it that impossible to do in the 21st century?
Yet, not only Job, for Noah was also considered perfect as well:
Genesis 6: 9
“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
Do you see that same word showing up again … perfect.
The Bible gives accounts of Enoch who was translated and of Elijah who ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire.
My friends, even Jesus himself was perfect.
(Well, right now you might be rolling your eyes at me while saying, ‘well, duh Joan, that is expected of Jesus, because he was God in the flesh’ … )
This may be true but what is amazing here is that Jesus said these words in Matthew 5: 48
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
Do you realize the tone of this passage? Jesus was not asking any questions. Neither was he wondering whether it would be possible to be done. He knew perfection was attainable so he commanded us … ‘be ye therefore perfect…’
So if our Lord expects this of us, then this is the mark that we should strive towards, right? And accept nothing less. The mark is PERFECTION! It is attainable!
What Does Perfection Mean?
When we think about perfection in the English understanding we think of being completely free from faults and defects. In other words: sinless.
By examining this word in both the Hebrew and Greek we will see what the word of God really meant to us as Christian. What a whopper of a revelation awaits us …
The Greek word for perfect is téleios, which means:
- To mature, from going through the necessary stages to reach the end–goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey).
- To reach the end
- To function at full strength and capacity
The Hebrew word for perfect is tamim, which means:
- To be complete
- To be whole
- To come to an end
- To be matured
Wow! Do you see what I am saying? What an eye opener!
The meaning of perfection finally makes sense. Jesus commands to ‘be ye therefore perfect’ What he was saying was be matured. To allow yourself to go through the necessary stages so that you can be complete at the end of the process. “Fully developed and functioning at your full strength and capacity.”
As we mature through stages of our natural life, so also we should allow ourselves to mature through stage in our spiritual life. It is only at the end of our spiritual process are we considered perfect in God’s eyes.
So the truth is spiritual maturity is not impossible. It is not that difficult. It takes time, but it is attainable. And we can do it!
Anything that is worth any value comes by work. However, the zeal that you are going to have for the things of God will surpass anything else.
In all my time of living and teaching I have realized that a thing is only considered hard, when either you do not enjoy what you are doing or you do not know or understand the path to take. But… let’s suppose someone handed you clear directions that you can follow. Will it be hard then? And suppose you actually find joy in what you are doing, will you still consider it to be difficult?
No, I really don’t think you would. So why choose to remain where we are, when there is so much more we can attain! Let’s go to perfection. …
6 Other Myths About Spiritual Growth
People often feel that Spiritual Growth is measured in:
- YEARS: How many years you are a Christian. How many years you were baptized. How many years you are serving on the secretarial board in the church or in the choir. How many years you were christened, and the list goes on. Years have nothing what so ever to do with spiritual maturity.
- RELATIONSHIP: How close you are to the Pastor, or an important individual in church. How often you speak to him, or ask him / her over for dinner. If you are his /her armor bearer; If you give financially to the church … the list is endless. The truth is you good have the best relationship with the Pastor, but still a poor relationship with God.
- POSITION: Whether you are a musician in the church, a prayer warrior, devotional leader or even an Usher or a Minister. Whether you maintain the treasurer records or you are the head of the church board. It seems like many want to be in the spotlight. But being in the spotlight does not means your spiritually matured.
- DRESS CODE: How many times have people judged you for the way you dress? Oh no, Spiritual Growth is not measured by the clothing you wear. You could have the most beautiful hats for church, suits, and the longest clothing. This does not measure your spiritual maturity at all.
- TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS Many go through lots of trials, but when this trying period is over they emerge even angrier, defeated, bitter, and broken. : It’s not experiencing trials and temptations that gains Spiritual Growth, it is overcoming them.
- BIBLE KNOWLEDGE: Wow! This is a big one but never the less, all the more true. Spiritual Growth cannot be measured in a PHD, a Masters or Bachelors degree from any Christian University. It is not measured by how much you know.
These are all myths about spiritual growth. If these were so, most of us would have grown all the way to the right now.
Right now, you might be left asking, ‘well Joan, if Spiritual Growth is not measured in any of these then how is it measured?’ The answer is simple; you will know a man that is spiritually matured, by the fruits that he produces. It is not measured by man’s standards; it is measured by God’s standards. It is learning how to walk in obedience to God and making a conscious choice to live by God’s word and not by man’s theories.
So let’s go on this journey to spiritual maturity. What I can promise, is that if you open your heart and earnestly follow the steps in these lessons, and if you apply these principles to your lives as a Christian, you will begin to see results! That is what we want to see …Results! You will begin to feel the tug of the Holy Ghost pulling on your heartstrings to draw closer to God, to pray, fast, to be in his presence…
Now let’s go get some more answers and direction!
Do you know of any other myths about spiritual growth that I have not mentioned? Feel free to leave yours below. This should be interesting, lol.
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