It is important to note that the spiritual growth process involves far more relinquishment than acquisition. In our culture we are conditioned to expect growth to involve acquisition of new facts and understandings.Gerald May, Addiction and Grace, Pages 105
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another post.
Today am continuing with the #shorts, a quick and easy quote or Scripture passage or something like that each time. Something quick and easy to chew on. as I mentioned in the previous post, at the time of writing this I am spending my days helping out a group of missionaries who are in town right now. I’m helping them build their campground and also do outreach programs, and I’m helping them during the time that I would normally use for writing this blog.
So until the missionary program finishes at the end of August, I’ll be posting these #shorts instead of my usual content (and since I write these posts one month in advance, these #shorts will last until the end of September).
Today’s little tidbit to chew on is a quote about Spiritual growth, a topic I know we’re all interested in.
Give it up to Grow up
Today’s quote comes from the book Addiction & Grace by Gerald May. It’s the book I’m currently reading, and it’s about the Spiritual side of addiction. Well, that’s what the book claims to be about. In truth it’s about a lot of things, I would say. When I finish reading this book, I’ll write a proper book review for The Christian Book Corner. but for now, here’s a little quote from the book for your consideration.
What is Spiritual growth?? What is Spiritual growth in the context of Christianity?? I bet we all have our own answers to that question. But here’s what the author Gerald May has to say about it:
It is important to note that the spiritual growth process involves far more relinquishment than acquisition. In our culture we are conditioned to expect growth to involve acquisition of new facts and understandings. […] spiritual growth is different. It cannot be packaged, programmed, or taught. Although some new facts and representations may help us along the way […], the essential process is one of transformation, not education. It is, if anything, an unlearning process in which our old ways are cleansed, liberated, and redeemed. […]
Obviously, we cannot “conduct” spiritual growth. At bottom, it is God’s work. It is grace. But neither is it something we can be quietistic [passive] about. The immanence of God involves us of necessity, and the transcendence of God calls forth a response from our free will.Gerald May, Addiction and Grace, Pages 105-106
I think this is a very interesting definition of Spiritual growth. First, it’s a process of unlearning and giving things up rather than learning and acquiring new knowledge. I suppose this makes sense; we’re all raised in the world, and our early education is a worldly one. When we’ve been taught wrong, the way forward is to unlearn what we were taught so that we can accept the Truth.
And the second thing he says is that Spiritual growth is all God’s doing, it’s Grace. At the same time, we have a very important part to play and can’t be passive either. It’s that classic tension between man’s free will and God’s Will, that tension that exists all throughout the Bible. It’s that classic tension that has been in play ever since the birth of humanity. I agree that Spiritual growth is all God’s doing, but I also know well that we have to be at least aiming for spiritual growth in our lives if we want God to give us any. We have to be pursuing it before we can receive it from Him.
I think these are pretty spot-on and insightful thoughts on Spiritual growth. But like I said, I’m sure we all have our own answer to the question of what is Spiritual growth. So what do you think about it?? Consider this quote you read today, and think it over.
That’s it for #shorts #2. Stay tuned for more #shorts all this month.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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