Congratulations! You’ve already made it to Day 17 of the 21 Days of Fasting. Clearly, you have a desire to grow spiritually, and that’s a good thing! The Bible has much to say about desiring spiritual growth, but perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of spiritual growth is the important role that other people play in it.
Let’s talk about one obstacle to spiritual growth that’s hard to see sometimes—autonomy. This is an idea that stems from our culture which actively endorses, celebrates, and even prescribes self-expression above all else. Essentially, we are the answer to our problems, or, at best, we want to believe the answer to our problems lies within us. Consequently, we may have a tendency to approach spiritual growth very much the same way we would approach growth in any other category. We take matters into our own hands. We go it alone.
Our “‘rise and grind’ to ‘work hard’ on our ‘side hustle’ in order to ‘get ’er done’” attitude toward life in general, and spiritual growth in specific, presupposes that growth depends on us and us alone. For some disciplines, that may be the case. But what if the path to spiritual growth is different? No doubt, individual effort is a part of spiritual growth. But what if God set it up so that spiritual growth actually happens best within the context of a broader group of people, like a church family?
Scripture is laced with verses and stories of people rallying around each other, to help, sharpen, encourage, support, challenge, love, and even correct one another. Why is that?
It is because God designed people to need people. And He designed spiritual growth to happen best with others! That is why we gather together corporately, and it’s why we circle up in small groups, so that through relationships we might grow closer to Christ.
Verses to Read
1 Thessalonians 5:11
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Questions to Consider
Do I find myself trying to go it alone when it comes to growing spiritually?
What person in my life has had the biggest impact on my spiritual growth?
Prayer to Pray
Lord, help me in my pursuit of You to remember that there are people that You’ve placed in and around my life to help me grow closer to Jesus. I ask that You would use me to help my brothers and sisters grow closer to Christ as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.