“Is that you, wow, I don’t remember you looking that big,” said my very considerate husband as we looked at some of my pregnancy pictures. Picture capture our appearance. We know our appearance changes with time. We age and get wrinkles. Hair and clothes style change, but what about personal and spiritual growth. Pictures do not capture these forms of growth. How do we see personal and spiritual growth, or lack thereof?
3 signs of personal growth
1. An understanding of one’s self
Personal growth is evident in the understanding of one’s self. It is in knowing that you are made in the image of God and you have worth. It is in viewing your intellect and your body as gifts from God that He personally gave you for his glory and service.
2. Acceptance of strengths and weaknesses
Personal growth is portrayed in accepting your strengths and weaknesses. In the ability to say that it is ok that you are not good at certain things that that is not how God designed you. You have distinct strengths that he expects you to use. You were also given weaknesses from birth and training. You may never be coordinated or get rid of cellulite, however, you may increase your weak cooking abilities or poor listening skills. It is in the acceptance that we can grow to maturity in our person.
3. A challenged mind
Personal growth is manifest in one’s ability to challenge their self. It takes forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and challenging your spirit to learn new things. In this challenging, your person is matured as you enlarge the borders of your mind. Stepping outside of your comfort zone takes a complacent heart and starts a flame.
3 signs of spiritual growth
1. A sense of purpose
A sign of spiritual growth is having a sense of purpose. As we grow spiritual we become more like Christ. When Christ was on this earth he knew who he was and knew his purpose. As we grow spiritually and become like Christ our purpose will show with greater clarity.
2. Acknowledgement that God is in Control and I do not have to understand
Our response to suffering and circumstances is a way to pin point spiritual growth. When things go wrong are we still fighting God and accusing Him of wrong. Spiritual growth is acknowledging He is in control and I do not have to understand what he is doing.
3. Increased love and compassion for others
Are we looking to the needs of others with love and care. Our eyes of condemnation will turn to eyes filled with the love of Christ as we spiritually grow. The same bad thoughts will not be evident as we become more Christ like. Our compassion will increase as we grow in grace.
3 signs of a stagnated spirit.
1. Preoccupied with control
A soul that is stagnate is a person who is preoccupied with maintaining control of their circumstances. As long as you continue to control your circumstances personal or spiritual growth will not happen. This atmosphere is not conducive for growth. It is suffocation and brings deterioration.
2. Guilt driven
A person who is driven by guilt is stuck and unable to move into growth. Guilt over the past is the main focus for today’s problems and events. This guilt-driven mind game damages growth as it hinders us from trusting God with our past and our future. Keeping us tied to the past and old ways of thinking.
3. Manipulative of others
A person who manipulates others to get their way is trapped in a state of no growth their obsession on keeping others righteous is a number one priority in their mind. An individual will not experience personal or spiritual growth as long as their focus is on other people.
How have you grown personally and spiritually? Is there a difference or are you stuck in a place of stagnation?
As we look back there should be signs of growth that cry out as evidence of change