Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Grow Up!

Today Warren reminds us that we are called to grow in our faith. Unfortunately a lot of people simply grow older, but not so much in maturity, especially not spiritual maturity. Warren asserts that is most likely due to the fact then never really ever intended to grow. He goes on to say, "Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing... Jesus calls us, and we respond: 'Come, be my disciple,' Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.'"

For those who are concerned about this notion of having to do something, or decision theology, Warren goes on to refer to Philippians 2:12-13 saying, "This verse, written to believers, is not about how to be saved, but how to grow. It does not say "work for" your salvation, because you can't add anything to what Jesus already did. During a physical 'workout,' you exercise to develop your body, not to get a body."

The chapter ends reminding us that we need to change our auto pilot, the way we think. By sheer will power we can effect change, for a little while. However, if we don't change our base way of thinking we will be back to way were. We can willpower ourselves to follow a diet or start an exercise program. We might even last for a while, but unless we change the way we think we will eventually drop the diet and return to the couch. I can see that now with my running. I've got some really strong willpower and have used it to complete a number of marathons. I still need to adjust my mindset if running is going to continue as a consistent part of my life. The same is true if I intend to grow as a Christian. I need to repent and change my mindset so that I'm "programmed" to grow.

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