550. Growing Or Shrinking?

“At one point,” Stan began, “we talked about the difference between getting older and maturing as a Christian.”

“We did,” I responded.  “Just because I’m getting older does not mean I’m getting more mature.” [See Posting Number 500, “More Mature Or Just Older?]

“Exactly,” Stan responded.  Continuing, he said, “Earlier this morning, I saw that the apostle Peter, in his second letter, was saying the same thing to me, but using different words.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Right at the end of his second letter,” Stan replied, “Peter encouraged me to grow  in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.”

“So?”

“To me,” Stan said, “that means that I’m to be growing, not shrinking.  And if I’m not growing in my relationship with God in and through Christ, I think I am, by definition, shrinking.  Going in the wrong direction in my faith walk.”

“Do you really think that’s true?” I responded.  “That if you are not growing you have to be shrinking?”

“I do,” he said.  “And I have all of the evidence I need by just looking at myself.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Should be plural,” Stan said with a smile.  ‘Ways’, not ‘Way’!”

Continuing, he added, “Throughout my Christian life, there have been numerous times when, for whatever reasons, I have chosen to not grow in my relationship with God.  I have chosen to not go any further, thinking I have gone far enough.”

“Then what?” I replied.

“Shrinkage!” Stan exclaimed.  “If I am not growing in my relationship with God, I’m shrinking”

“Isn’t there a middle ground?” I asked.  “Can’t you just be sitting still, neither going forward nor going backwards?  Kind of like idling in neutral?”

“Not for me,” Stan replied.  “I am to be growing or I will be shrinking.  No middle ground.  And I think that’s what the apostle Peter was writing to me in his second letter.  Grow!”

Concluding, he added, “And I have to remind myself constantly what Jesus said about eternal life, that it is knowing Him and God the Father.  Peter’s admonition is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus.  To me, that is what my faith walk is to be all about.”

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Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 3:18.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.  John 17:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you have provided me with the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time.  Thank you, too, that you want and allow me to pursue knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity.  I confess that too often I do not grow in the knowledge you have for me.  I do not grow because I choose to not grow and, thereby, begin to shrink in my knowledge.  Please, Father, forgive that foolishness.  And please help me in following every step of your lead in growing, truly growing, in all of the knowledge of you and your Son as long as you keep me on this side of eternity.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in His name.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Growing or shrinking in your relationship with God?  In neutral? What does it look like to be continually growing closer in an ever-deepening relationship with God?  What does it take for that to happen?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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