Go back with me into your childhood – as far back as you can remember. What comes to mind? Maybe special people who love you, or a very special day. Maybe a favorite toy or snack. A dear childhood “pal” may come to mind. You may have some painful or disappointing memories, as well. All through years of growing up, you change. This is also true of growing up in your faith in God. What are you doing to grow up in faith?
(This is Part 4 in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.)
It’s Hard To Grow Up
Growing up is hard work. But it’s normal work. That’s what people do: grow up . . . in body, mind, heart, relationships, and emotions. People who trust Jesus grow up in their faith.
To grow up is to live with challenge. Have you seen a baby learning to walk? Or a toddler figuring out how to use a spoon? Then there’s the pre-teen who just can’t come out of their room with clothes that match – or fit. Remember those teen years – trying to be grown-up and say the right thing? In young adulthood, you grow up into careers and possible permanent relationships. Smack in the middle of adulthood, you grow into the disappointments, losses, unfairness, and burdens of being alive. And the challenges of growing up continue for the rest of your life, even when you grow old.
Sometimes it helps to look at what something is NOT. In the case of growing up – even though it is hard work, to NOT GROW UP is unnatural, unhealthy, and even tragic. So, we can conclude – to grow up is normal. It’s healthy.
This content provides four tips to grow up in your faith. But first, some helpful ideas.
Never Stay The Same
Being human means you are always growing and changing. You are never static. Even parts you’ve decided will always stay the same keep pulsing with new energy and increasing understanding.
Even though you will continue to grow up all your life, there comes a time when you “are up.” What happens then? We already touched on some challenges that take place as you become an adult. When you “are up,” new responsibilities land in your daily life that were never part of childhood.
Graduating from one life stage to the next – and continuing that process to reach maturity – is healthy development. This is a process you want to happen – for you, your kids, your friends, your colleagues.
When You “Are Up“
Unfortunately, when people “are up,” they sometimes lose some of the most important traits of childhood. We may forget how to have fun. We don’t laugh quite as quickly. The bumps and bangs over the years interfere with our ability to trust and hope. We care too much about what people think of us, and spend time on things that don’t matter.
Yet, at the same time, we also start to care about things that DO matter when we “are up” – things of the adult world.
“Being up” should include a purposeful mix of perspectives and values. Adults have the capacity to create a collage of deliberate life choices. What’s in your collage? Have you included the perspectives and values of Scripture? Is your faith growing you up into the person God designed you to be? He has a good design and plan for your life – one you participate in, using your mind and will.
So, are you “up” yet?
Grow Up In Faith
Growing up in faith often gets left out of the picture of growing from infancy to mature adulthood. You need to grow up in your inner person – heart, soul, and spirit. God wants you to become the person He had in mind when He created you, and not just your body. God loves the “whole you!” He wants you healthy – and “up!”
Your inner person can grow up in the Lord as you live in relationship with Him each day. Apply His Word in practical daily issues to see the “real you” God designed. Why not find your life purpose?
Every stage of growing up in faith has a glory. You already resemble your Father – made in His image. To become more like Him in character is the goal. God wants to share each stage with you. Are you sharing back? Do you believe God loves you? Or do you put up walls to protect your heart? When you see God as your Partner and dearest Friend, you will include Him in details of your day. You will grow up in faith.
Growing Up Uses Scripture
For the person who has not grown up in their faith, many truths in Scripture are hard to understand. Principles of the Word can be challenging for even a seasoned believer. There is mystery in God’s Word. If you think about it, that only makes sense. Why? Because God’s Word is His very life on paper. Taking His life off paper and into your life to pulsate in practical ways each day involves a bit of unknown, some mystery, and lots of adventure.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned Christian, you decide your level of participation. Let’s unpack this. Here are our four helpful tips:
1. Pray To Grow Up
You decide if you ask the Lord to open your understanding to His Word. Are you willing to navigate the unknowns, troubleshoot the mysteries, launch into the adventure? It all starts by asking God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.“ (Jas. 1:5)
PRAY for growth.
2. Study To Grow Up
You decide how much time you will spend in the Word. Yes, it takes a commitment of time and energy. It also takes planning. That means re-working your daily schedule to regularly include study. Scriptures says, “Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) This kind of “life study,” shows you how to rightly handle and apply God’s Word. It affects your response to each day.
So – STUDY for growth.
3. Memorize To Grow Up
You decide if you will go the extra mile to memorize Scripture. There are many strategies to use – from pop-up reminders on your device to the old fashioned 3X5 cards. Sticky notes posted here and there help (if you repeat the verse when you see them). It’s amazing what you remember if you repeat something morning and night. The human brain captures those repetitions into memory. Hide God’s Word in your heart so you have it when you need it – 24/7! (Ps. 119:11)
MEMORIZE for growth.
4. Meditate To Grow Up
You decide if you are going to allow Scripture to land in your life. Turn your thoughts often to what you read from the Bible each morning. Ask yourself – how do I apply this in practical ways today? That’s what meditate means in a nutshell. “. . . meditate on His Law night and day. . . “ (Ps. 1:2)
MEDITATE for growth.
How Much “Say” Do You Have?
We already said you decide your level of participation. You have “say” in your spiritual development and growth. You could also say you decide if you grow up in your faith – or if you remain under-developed: an infant sucking on a bottle of milk someone prepared for you. Crying for nourishment. Feeling helpless. Needing someone to get you through the night.
The reality is this. You are able to take in the meat and potatoes of the Word – cut it into small pieces, chew it, swallow it, and digest it. Get out your knife and fork. Dig in. Start to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and you will be filled. (Mt. 5:6) It’s a partnership for your growth. God works. You work.
Application Thoughts And Questions
Partner with Scripture to grow up in faith. Then, share the four tips with others: your kids, friends, co-workers, and colleagues.
- What are you logging up in your life memories?
- Are you growing up into the person God designed you to be?
- Do you believe God has a good design and plan for your life?
- Are you participating in His plan as you use your mind and will?
- Are you “up” yet?
- Do you believe God loves you?
- Do you see God as your Partner and dearest Friend – enough to include Him in details of your day?
Final Question To Jog Your Memory
What are those four tips that help you grow up in faith?
- Pray for growth.
- Study for growth.
- Memorize for growth.
- Meditate for growth.
P.S. You can still have your milk. No problem. Just lose the bottle. Gulp down a satisfying tumbler of cold milk with cookies. Or enjoy a cup of warm milk before bed with a touch of nutmeg.
Here are links to the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts. Lots of encouragement, help, and hope!
- Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
- Faith Jump
- Fresh Faith For You
- Grow Up In Faith – 4 Tips
- Faith and Family
- Who Can You Trust These Days?
- True Story Of Faith
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and an Alive and Active Life.