Christian Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth - like Climbing a Mountain trail

Photo by mr. g from Flickr
Photo by mr. g from Flickr

What is Christian Spiritual Growth?


Maybe you are a new Christian or maybe you have been one for awhile, or you might even not be a Christian, no matter where you are at, you should be asking yourself, How can i grow spiritually? Now, before you get there, you might be wondering what spiritual growth even is. So we will start by asking, and answering that question.

Spiritual Growth Defined:

What is spiritual growth?

Spiritual growth for Christians is the active pursuit to follow and become more like Jesus Christ, who died to give us the opportunity of eternal life with Him in Heaven. Out of our love for God, and our desire to follow His commands, we should make our aim in life to become more Christ-like until the day we die, and are made perfect, through Christ's sacrifice, in Heaven.

Check out these verses from the Bible that sheds some light on what spiritual growth is, and how you can work on it.

2 Peter 1:3-8 (NIV)

3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.8For 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.

So spiritual growth is accomplished through increasing one's knowledge and understanding of Jesus and the Bible and it helps us avoid sin and be more ‘productive’ Christians.

So in the same way that practicing soccer makes you better at soccer, working on spiritual growth will make you ‘better’ at being a Christian. Now, when I say ‘better’ what I mean is that you will be more knowledgeable, more able to give answers when someone has a question about God, your personal relationship with Jesus will be more real, and you will be more intentional in sharing what Jesus is doing in your life.

Let's look at some of the challenges many Christians face when trying to grow spiritually.

Christian Spiritual Growth is Not a Way to Earn Your Way Into Heaven

Some people might be confused, and fall into a dangerous trap where they think they must complete certain actions in order to earn their way into heaven, or make up for bad things they have done. So lets be clear, you cannot earn your way into heaven, it has already been offered to you by God! Here is a great verse speaking directly to that:

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

It is like someone who is offering you a gift, but you go and try to earn the money to buy it. There is no need to earn the money, they have already offered it to you as a gift!

Let's look at another situation many Christians struggle with relating to earning one's salvation.

The Loop of Despair - How Many Christians Get Trapped

In a fantastic sermon I recently listed to at Riverview Church in Lansing by pastor James Granger, he shared a powerful example of a situation many Christians get trapped in, which he called the loop of despair.

In this situation, you are trying to grow as a Christian, but there is some sin in your life that is bogging you down. So you sin, then feel guilty, decide to make a disciplined effort to change and make good progress for a little while. But then you feel pride that YOU were able to not do whatever the sin was for X amount of time. Unfortunately that sin then seduces you, and you fall into the sin once again.

Here is a visual representation of the loop of despair:

The loop of Despair
The loop of Despair

So What Can You Do?

You might be asking now, how do I get out of this loop! Well, the answer is both easy and hard.

It goes back to the verse above in Ephesians 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"So it is only though putting your faith in God, through trusting Him, that you can get out of this loop.

God wants us to trust Him, and the only way to get used to trusting God, is to practice doing that. it is both and easy, and incredibly challenging thing to do; to put our trust in someone else.

Remember, trust is progressive - the more you trust, the easier it becomes.

So now that you know what spiritual growth is, and some of the challenges, keep reading to find out why it’s important and how to grow as a Christian.

Why is Spiritual Growth Important?

Every Christian needs to continue to become more spiritually mature. Just like a baby that moves from baby food to solid food, so also a Christian must move from the basics to more challenging truths.

God calls us to become more spiritually mature; Paul tells us that we need to become more Christ like. He says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."

Now, of course we can never become like Jesus, but we must make it our goal to follow His example.

So if you are feeling stagnant or like you are still taking baby food, its time to start becoming more spiritually mature.

So basically Spiritual Growth is important because God calls us to do it. He calls us to continue to grow and learn more about Jesus and the salvation he has given us.

Lets now take a look at How we can become more spiritually mature.

The next step you need to take today

So now that you know a bit more about spiritual growth and the importance of it, what are you going to do to start becoming more spiritually mature? How are you going to change your life to reflect the change that is in your heart if you are a Christian? 

Here are a few things you could do today to start the journey of spiritual maturity.

  1. Talk with your pastor or a good friend and set up a weekly accountability group.
  2. Join or start a Bible study.
  3. Start memorizing a few verses from the Bible.
  4. Download to your computer spiritual growth software.

Remember, the goal is not to just become a good, spiritually mature Christian, the goal is to try to become more like Christ every day. There is no finish line here on earth, it is in Heaven. So live your life pursuing Jesus.

Additional Resource: Spiritual Growth Software

A great resource i have found is to use spiritual growth software. You can easily download the software, and then use it on your computer. I spend a fair amount of time on my computer so now i use some of it to grow spiritually.

A site called LeaderNexus has created some great software that they offer as a free download.

The software is designed to let people use their computer as a means of spiritual growth. The program has several different functions. Here is a list of the different functions:

  • 365 day Bible reading plan to help you read through the Bible in just a year! There is also a version for youth that goes through most of the Bible in a year.
  • Journaling feature that allows you to write an entry, save it, organize it, and then view it later. Now you do not have to use pen and paper! You can journal on your computer and keep it safe and private.
  • Prayer request log lets you record and review your prayers and mark the ones that have been answered, and the ones you are still waiting on.
  • Bible reading chart makes it possible to check each chapter of the Bible you have read and keep track of where you are in your reading.
  • finally, there is a Bible memory function that lets you practice memorizing scripture. it lets you hid either the verse or reference to help you memorize the Bible.

If you are interested in this software, a link to LeaderNexus is provided in the links area below.

Keys to Spiritual growth - A sermon

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Comments, Write your comments here! 46 comments

sunlight44 7 years ago

Thanks!

You have motivated me to start looking into how i can grow more. great information!


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

sunlight44 - glad to here it!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida

Interpete Great Hub. Spiritual growth is so important. All of us need to take the time to stop and consider where we are on Christian Road.

God Bless

ABR


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

ABR - Thanks! yes, I know that as I wrote this i should also be applying it.


coffeesnob 7 years ago

Internpete

This is a great article, and you have provided a valuable resource in your hub. I do a lot with leadership/discipleship and mentoring and say thank you! I am glad to have found it while on vacation. I am looking forward to spending some time here and plan to become familiar with leadercast.com. God bless you!


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

coffeesnob - I am so happy that this was useful to you! Thanks for taking the time to comment!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 7 years ago from Roseville, CA

Awesome information! I had no idea about this site. When I taught Discipleship, we would do all this in notebooks. Love it! Thanks so much; you got a fan!!


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Judah's Daughter - Thanks! You are very kind and i am glad this was useful for you!

Blessings


thefount profile image

thefount 7 years ago from North Central Louisiana

Very nice hub! Thanks and Blessings To You!


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Thefount - Thanks for the encouragement! God bless!


jesusmyjoy profile image

jesusmyjoy 7 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

wonderful


lefseriver profile image

lefseriver 7 years ago from Northern Minnesota

thanks for the hub...the photo of the rocky trail was a great image.


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

lefseriver - Thanks, i like that photo a lot too!


Vizey profile image

Vizey 7 years ago

Christians say that jesus was a god. so How can jesus die. I would like to know, can anyone answer? We should always learn religions of other. Learning does not mean converting.


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Vizey - Christians don't say that Jesus was a god, Christians say that He IS God. When He came to earth, He was both fully man, and fully God. Because He took the blame for all the wrongdoing, and the penalty for that is spiritual death, He had to die. So He died for us, so that we have the opportunity to live and spend eternity with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As far as learning about other religions, I think that is great. I think it is vital to understand not only what you believe, but also what others do as well.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Internpete,

Nice job!

Informative and useful study tools.

Spiritual growth is important!

Thank You for sharing.

Blessings!


internpete profile image

internpete 6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans - Thanks for reading and for your kind encouragement!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

This is a great article, brother. Sound advice for the baby Christian or the mature but complacent. Well done!


internpete profile image

internpete 6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Thanks James, you are very encouraging!


create a page profile image

create a page 6 years ago from Maryland, USA

This information is great. We need to grow and not become stagnant.

When I was a teenager I used to write my prayers in the form of letters to God. Sometimes I did this daily. I have been thinking of starting that habit again, since I am the prayer coordinator for my ministry. It was very rewarding when I looked back on them and realized that God answered so many of my requests. LeaderCast seems to offer a similar feature. I never knew software like that existed. I will check it out and pass on the word to other Christians. Thank you for sharing.


internpete profile image

internpete 6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Create a page - thanks and i am glad you enjoyed and could use this. I remember also at times keeping a prayer journal and it was always very interesting to read back through what i was praying about or going through.

as far as the website and software go, the website has moved to leadernexus.com and i am not sure if the software is still available. Thanks for your comment!


Photos of Jesus 6 years ago

Thank you for the great outline and the information as to where I can continue my growth as a Christian


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York

Hey Buddy! It's been a while. I wanted you to know that I still enjoy reading your hubs. I think you have given some awesome things for young Christians to grow by. I think that there are many people that think that if they don't grow it will keep them from being so committed to giving God anything. Many people give so small a piece of themselves that you can hardly tell they are saved at all. God can see their hearts. He will eventually break through that thinking but in the meantime they have retarded their own growth. To grow is to be freer and to know joy but people think it just bogs them down with religion when in fact what they do is religion. Be blessed brother. Bob.


lefseriver profile image

lefseriver 6 years ago from Northern Minnesota

thanks for a great hub.


meline profile image

meline 5 years ago

Awesome info! Thank you so much


sherrylou57 profile image

sherrylou57 5 years ago from Riverside

Blessings to you!


jose pastor jr 5 years ago

thankz it really help me to grow more spiritually!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

This is a good look at an important topic. Thanks for highlighting the spiritual growth software. Truly an evergreen hub! :)


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

RTalloni - Thanks! This is a Hub that has lasted well, I may work on updating it slightly.


Owolabi oluwatoyin 4 years ago

I thank God dat i read dis 2day, coz it motivate me more on spiritual growth, it help me 2 grow in d lord Jesus christ. Lord i thank u once again.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

I am glad I could provide useful information to you! God Bless!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Well, I love your enthusiasm here regarding the subject of your article, HOWEVER, you lost me at: What is spiritual growth? S.G. is the active pursuit to follow and become more like J.C. I totally disagree with you here. Ask anyone of other religions who are as enthusiastic about what their beliefs are and who are avid devotees in 'pursuit' to become more like...whatever their belief in God is, and you will find as many people who are following their own spiritual growth.

I am on a spiritual path that focuses on the development of the soul and all of her aspects. I am an avid student of this pursuit of spiritual growth, and in fact, it is my primary interest and way of life. But, it does not focus simply on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

According to your definition and explanation of what is spiritual growth, there is a conflict of ideas here. Not that I am in conflict with you, but there is an error in the logic/explanation that you offer and I find it misleading and rather narrow-minded-it disregards all other people of nonChristian beliefs who are also spiritual practitioners.

I have written many hubs about the subject of spirituality and respect the religious beliefs and practices of others. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on the subject.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Denise - Thanks for your ideas and opinions. In this hub I am focusing on Christian spiritual growth - in other words, how followers of Christ can grow spiritually. So it is mostly aimed at Christ Followers. I hope this provides clarification, and I may have to read a few of your hubs. Thanks for reading and giving your insight.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

This a great and informative article. You include the most important keys to a relationship with God, reading the scriptures being a key. You also encouraged church participation by talking to the pastor. So many people are starting to think that church is not needed. It is a vicious view. God know we need church, all of us. Other believers help to fan the fires of faith in Christ as we share our experiences together as we walk with God. I voted up and informative. Nice article. Keep it up.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Rodric29 - Yep, the church is is a great place to go for help on spiritual growth! We are not meant to try to live without help - Goad wants us to work together and be in community. Thanks for your comment!


Deb Welch 4 years ago

Awesome interesting Hub about Christian growth. I am 'born-again' now - 29 years and it gets more difficult especially being in the days of 2012. I have grown and learned much over the years and still make mistakes. I constantly study - I have a hunger for knowledge most of the time and then I get slack and could kick myself when that happens. Thanks - enjoyed reading.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Deb Welch - I am glad you found this useful! I am trying to add more to this hub, and make it more useful and interesting. There is certainly plenty more to add on this subject!

I sometimes learn new things and wonder, how long have I been a christian and not understood/known/realized this? It is a life long journey that only gets better in heaven! Thanks for your comment!


Joanmaynard profile image

Joanmaynard 3 years ago from St Kitts

I really love this article that you wrote on Spirtual growth.The two areas that popped right out at me is Spritual Growth being an 'active pursuit' to become like Jesus Christ and you are so right for inorder for us to grow there must be a conscious effort to do so. Just merely wanting to grow is not enough, but we have to daily begin to change the areas in our life that has become hindarances.

The other thing was the Loop of Despair, oh so true. I donot know if this is going to help anyone but, one thing I do is every year I make a 'new years resolution' to deal with 4 areas in my life that I see as hindrance t o Spirtual growth. Then I give every area 3 months and I use this 3months to focus on removing that specific hindrance from my life. I find that, with God's guidance, it works.

Hope I have blessed someone.


internpete profile image

internpete 3 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Joanmaynard - I am glad you found this useful and enjoyable! Thanks for sharing your insight on this and for your new years resolution suggestion, I might have to put that into practice!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Yes, it is so very important that we Christians continue in our pursuit to keep that personal and intimate relationship with our sweet Lord, as He desires such a relationship. And, just as in all relationships, it is not one-sided, it requires that we listen, pray (talk to God), meditate on His true and active and living Word, which is a beautiful gift to have no doubt. I cannot even imagine living one day on this earth without such a relationship.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper


RJ68 profile image

RJ68 3 years ago from Memphis

Spiritual growth is essential in this walk of fellowship with Christ. We have to make Christ a priority in our daily lives and begin to imitate His life. We do this by getting into the Word of God and ask yourself daily WWJD.

Love this article. Thank you for sharing.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I voted this up again! This really is a good article. If all 2 billion of us Christians actually lived our religion to be like Christ, we could come together and really change he world. It would be nice if each Christian around the world would recommit each day to live like Christ. I suppose it is up to me to start with myself though. Thanks again for this article.


internpete profile image

internpete 3 years ago from At the Beach in Florida Author

Thanks for you comments!


Melissa Nelson profile image

Melissa Nelson 2 years ago from Alexander, Arkansas

I enjoyed that article. I am a born again Christian and I found it interesting. You hit on things I am going through. Thank you


Inspired Heart profile image

Inspired Heart 2 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for posting. I like the description of the loop of despair. I must confess that as a Christian, I have fallen in that trap many times. It is so very liberating to learn that it is through God' grace and the power of the Holy Spirit that I overcome.


Anita lesic profile image

Anita lesic 2 years ago from Zagreb

Great Hub :* We must spread Christianity with our kindness and love just as the Lord has taught us. ;)

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