Our family has continued a Christmas tradition from my wife’s family, giving one another a combination of fun, practical, and necessary gifts each year. In addition to desired goodies, there are also cleaning supplies, shampoo, underwear, socks, etc. under the tree. With kids, clothing (especially items such as underwear and socks they could care less about) is a constant necessity as they seemingly never stop growing. Our son has several times worn pairs of jeans only once or twice before growing out of them, necessitating yet another purchase that will rapidly get out grown. As annoying (and expensive!) as such growth can be, it’s also an amazing blessing. It’s been an honor to watch our kids grow from newborns, to curious (read: dangerous) toddlers, to inquisitive Kindergartners, to the young adults they are today. Their growth may get expensive, but it’s necessary for them to grow into the people God has made them to be.
Like children who are constantly growing, we as men should constantly be growing in our faith. We should be learning new habits, taking on new challenges, growing in knowledge, seeking out new opportunities to serve, mentoring others, and more. We should be constantly outgrowing who we were, and growing into new ways of being devoted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:14-18 powerfully puts it this way:
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:14-18
So, the question today is: are you still growing? Are you still seeking after God with all your heart, soul, and mind? As we head into a new year, I encourage all of us, myself included, to make plans to grow in faithfulness this year. To outgrow who we were and to grow into who God desires us to be.