“We had some neighbors over for dinner the other night,” Stan commented.
“Nice time?” I asked.
“Always enjoy our time with these people,” Stan replied. “At one point in the evening, they were telling us about something they did recently that was really eye-opening for them.”
“They went back to where they were raised to visit ‘the old stomping grounds’,” Stan replied.
“That can always be an adventure,” I replied. “Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. How was it for them?”
“By and large,” Stan said, “it seems it was disappointing because they saw some of the people they had known when they were younger who were doing the same things now that they were doing then. It’s like they never grew up.”
“Oh,” I responded, “I’ve see that too. I think I’ve heard that referred to as the ‘Peter Pan syndrome.’ Some people just seem to be stuck on where they were without any desire to grow up.”
“Same thing can happen in the church,” Stan commented. “Seen that more times than I care to mention. I saw it in me and didn’t like what I saw.”
“How so?” I asked.
“No desire to grow in a deepening relationship with God,” Stan replied. “There was no desire to grow before I am to go! But I am eternally thankful that God awakened in me the desire to know Him, the desire to draw closer to Him.”
“Why do some Christians grow while others don’t?” I asked.
“I think it’s all about choice,” Stan replied. ‘And I think the bottom-line choice is whether or not to be a disciple.”
“But aren’t all Christians disciples?” I asked.
“Seems to me,” Stan said, “the best way to answer that is for each one to check to see if they are doing what Jesus said about being a disciple. And I think you know what that means.”
“I do,” I replied. “Deny self, take up what I am to take up, and follow wherever, whenever, and however He wants to lead.”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan said. “That, I think, is the key to growing before going!”
Bible verses to consider:
But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body of the building of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16.
. . . grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the opportunity to grow before I go by knowing you in an ever-deepening personal relationship. I confess that too often I do not choose to grow in the knowledge of you and all you have for me while I live the life you have given me to live. Please help me in following every step of your lead for growing into the deepest possible knowledge and relationship with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Having accepted by faith God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when your time here is done, how are you doing with growing before going? As well as you would like? As well as God has for you? If you sense some changes may be in order for how you pursue the growing God has for you, is that something you would like? If no, why? If yes, how is that going to happen?