1 Corinthians 3:1–9 ‘I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?’ (vv2–3)
Moving house we were sad to leave our daughter’s height chart etched on her bedroom wall, added to every six months. Success, like growing taller, is constantly measured objectively, but this method can’t quantify unseen values. Someone’s height tells us little of their character and comes with the danger that reducing discipleship to objective measures leaves it as little more than a moral code.
A glance at different cultures demonstrates the difficulty in creating a common template for global application. Christian growth is a product of purpose plus pursuit. Purpose is what we have our hearts and eyes set on, what motivates and draws us along the pilgrim’s path.
Christian growth is a product of purpose plus pursuit.
My purpose is to journey deeper into the heart of God; my primary path is contemplation. I reflect on what pursuits will best serve my purpose. It means drawing on our rich Christian heritage while striking out on a personal journey of discovery, the fruit of which might nourish others, not just myself.
Whenever we lose sight of, and confidence in, our purpose, we stall and stagnate. We systemise belief for convenience, only to empty it of meaning and value. The first sign is when we promote measurable outcomes to gauge the success of discipleship, church, or mission.
It’s why attempts to create models or templates to replicate spiritual life largely fail. They are sterile replicas of a vibrant source. Every day we require a fresh awakening to stir us; repetition leaves us rooted in yesterday’s work of the Spirit of God.
AN ACTION TO TAKE:
Have you broken free from the Christian shallows and found how to swim in
the oceans of God’s continuous revelation? Focus attention on those pursuits
that will realise God’s purpose.
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord, the pilgrim’s path often feels lonely. May I stay the course in pursuit of
personal spiritual growth. Amen.’
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