How do I stop growing in my faith?

How do I stop growing in my faith?

You’ve asked this question time and time again. In varying seasons of life. Maybe you’re asking it right now.

You’re tired of growing your faith.

  • Tired of getting closer to God. 
  • Tired of God calling you to do big things. 
  • Tired of feeling like your gifts are being well-spent. 
  • Tired of pouring yourself out. 
  • Tired of feeling like you don’t know exactly what God’s going to ask you to do.
  • Tired of God using you to minister hope and grace and truth.
I mean, seriously, it’s time to quit growing. Time to get control back over your life. Time for things to calm down, and for you to get a handle on where things are going. Am I right?
If you’re with me on this, and you’re ready for your faith to grow stagnant, stinking the place up like a mosquito-infested pond in June, then try this one thing on for size. It’s easy, really. If you’re tired of your faith growing, all you have to do is

Play it safe.

  • Don’t be generous with your resources. That’s risky, and takes faith. 
  • Don’t be generous with the grace you give others. You will probably get burned.
  • Don’t join a small group. You could be asked to be vulnerable. And you could be stretched. That’s no way to live.
  • Don’t read your Bible and act on it. Just stick to reading it. Much safer.
  • Don’t invite your neighbors to church with you. Stay in your comfort zone.
  • Don’t go on a mission trip. That’s crazy talk. 
  • Don’t go serve the homeless in your city. You might get dirty.
  • Don’t tithe. Planned giving? We’re going for minimal risk here. Come on.
  • Don’t maintain close relationships with people. People are too messy and difficult.
  • Don’t build relationships with people outside of the faith. If someone doesn’t trust Jesus, give ‘em a tract and move on. If you try to stick around and love them, you’re being dangerous.
  • Don’t worship with other believers. Just quit going to church. They ask you to do things like ‘participate in worship.’ Not safe at all.
  • Don’t do anything difficult. When things get tough, run the other way. That’ll *stick it* to your faith.
Just minimize the risk in everything you do. That way you keep things safe, easy, and manageable.
And watch your faith shrivel right up.
Anybody with me?
 

Pee Pee and steps of faith


(Rex on his 4-wheeler, 2-20-2011)

On Sunday, my son ran up and down the halls of our church building (a high school, in fact) yelling, “Pee pee!!  Pee pee!!”

Obviously, we’re in the middle (well, that’s probably a stretch.  We’re probably closer to the beginning of this stage) of potty training.

I could’ve gotten frustrated.  Embarrassed.  Angry.  Or indifferent.  But I was none of that.

I chose to laugh.  Why?

Because it’s funny!  My 2 year old son is telling the whole world that he just peed in the toilet, not his pants.

Was it embarrassing?  Yep.

Was it frustrating, especially because he also peed in his diaper?  Yep.

But in that moment, I chose not to focus on the growth that still needed to happen.  I chose to celebrate with my son.

And we’d do well to remind ourselves that our Father rejoices over even a small step of faith.  Good fathers don’t punish their children when they pee in their diaper, even though they’re learning not to.  I don’t scold my son, even though I’ve told him countless times that he’s supposed to pee in the toilet.

Because I have the future in mind. I know that, at some point, the battle with this will be over.  We’ll work through this.  This is just a step in his journey towards maturity.  He’ll mature out of this, and in the meantime, I’m going to celebrate small steps in the right direction.

And I can’t help but think that God has the future in mind with us, too.  He has the bigger picture of our growth and maturity in mind at all times.  And yes, at times, we need discipline.  But He celebrates small steps in the right direction because He can see what we cannot.  And while we’re sitting in our own guilt and shame, God’s seeing the future, and is ready to offer us grace if we’ll just step towards Him.

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32)

Do you need to remind yourself that a step in the right direction is worth celebrating?

Do you need to remind someone else of that?