SHARING THE HOPE
Posted in Spiritual Growth
Am I Growing in My Faith?
Scripture: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8
After the school supplies were gathered, final necessities purchased, and new dorm room decorated, it was time to say goodbye to my daughter who started her Freshman year at U.S.C. One day later, my son who’s a Junior in high school, stuffed his backpack with school supplies and his class schedule, and off he drove down the all-too-familiar roads to the school he’s attended since Kindergarten. The weekend came, and our oldest son, a Junior cadet at The Citadel, packed his minimal whites and grays, and he too drove away from our home toward a school that would help him accomplish great things from Fall to Spring. Besides their supplies and clothing, all three children also set their academic goals to accomplish this year and tucked them haphazardly in their minds. My husband and I gave each child our best effort of inspiration. “Be determined. Don’t let go of your goal. Make every effort to do your best.”
Our once loud and bustling house was unsettlingly quiet, nd I was left with my own thoughts and my prayers. “Lord, will You watch over each of our children this school year, and draw them closer to You? I pray that they know You more and more, and begin to recognize the nudges of the Holy Spirit when they find themselves at a crossroads. Carve for them a clear path.”
A new school year for a student means a fresh start at accomplishing new achievements. It means another year wiser. Another year stronger. … But what about me? Isn’t the end of one season and the beginning of the next also another opportunity for me as an adult to take a look at where I’ve been and where I need to head this year? More specifically, isn’t this also an important time for all of us as Christians to make sure we aren’t stagnant in our faith, but always growing more in the likeness of Christ by drawing closer and closer to Him?
At the Presbytery meeting in August, the main speaker reminded a room full of pastors, church leaders, and staff the importance of a church and its parishioners to intermittently press the “pause” button and evaluate where they are individually and corporately as disciples. Questions like, “Am I more loving than last year? Am I more peaceful? Am I more joyful?”
Our scripture today tells us that we are to “make every effort to add to our faith.” Make every effort, not just a passing thought or feeble attempt. And this effort should be in increasing measure, season after season.
I’m thankful that Eastminster provides opportunities for my spiritual growth every day. But it’s my own responsibility to make every effort to take hold of those opportunities, carve out time in my calendar to learn and serve more alongside other fellow Christians, and hold back on some of my spending so I can give more.
What are your spiritual goals in this season of your life? Are you growing in your faith? Let’s make every effort to do so, together.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for those in our church family who walk alongside me on this discipleship journey. In my Small Group, in my Sunday School class, and while out serving others, remind me that we are to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” as your Word says in Hebrews. Help me not feel too complacent, but rather put within me a deep desire to know you more and more, with increasing measure each day. Amen.
Submitted by Caroline C. Bennett