Spiritual growth, in the Bible, happens through a process of growth in four key areas of relationships. Spiritual growth requires us to take action, and as we do so, we are transformed as followers of Jesus.
Spiritual growth is a process (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:12-13).
- We take action and we cooperate with God who works with us.
Spiritual growth links several moving parts together (Luke 10:25-28; Hebrews 13:1-2).
- Spiritual growth is not isolated to our personal Bible reading or church attendance. Spiritual growth involves every area of our lives.
Spiritual growth occurs when we take action (Luke 10:37).
- Jesus went beyond merely teaching this man. He told him to “Go and do likewise.” Spiritual growth occurs when we both “go” and “do.”
The Four Transformational Relationships
There are four areas of relationship (two inward, two outward) that, with regular, ongoing work in each, will transform us by creating the space God needs to lead us to greater spiritual growth.
- Core thought: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind
- Key scripture: Luke 10:25-28
- Action: Personal spiritual disciplines
- Examples: prayer; bible reading; bible meditation; prayer-walk; silence and solitude
- Core thought: Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters
- Key scripture: Hebrews 13:1
- Action: Mentoring relationships: Begin to spend regular time with one or two other believers, not just for visiting but to read the bible and pray together
- Examples: meeting with other believers over coffee; mentoring; small bible reading and prayer groups
- Core thought: Love your neighbor as yourself
- Key scripture: Luke 10:25-37
- Action: Evangelism
- Examples: evangelism can occur in many ways: friendship; service; teaching
- Core thought: Show hospitality to strangers
- Key scripture: Hebrews 13:2
- Action: Service and hospitality
- Examples: Have guests over for Sunday dinner; serve a family in the neighborhood; volunteer somewhere
Your goal should be to be regularly involved in each area. A starting point is to be regularly involved in personal spiritual disciplines to love God and then at least one other ongoing significant relationship in one of the other areas. You can supplement this involvement with occasional forays into the other two areas. Be creative! Be flexible! But get started. Take action to grow spiritually.