Growth is the natural progression of life. While it comes in stages, it is the defining element of development.
Growth is essential and sometimes natural, but it does not occur without impediments. Growth requires nurturing, often much nurturing and at other times only a small nudge.
Still, growth is the evidence that life exists.
Jesus said you can tell a tree by its fruit. By implication, you can determine whether there is life by examining that fruit, or lack thereof.
As sickness and lack of nutrients and water hinder plant growth, so, too, spiritual and emotional growth have their obstacles. You can avoid some of the hindrances. While you can’t escape others, your reaction to those hindrances determines your rate of growth.
Here are some of the hindrances — or plagues — of growth.
Tradition causes you to think inside the box, to limit your thought processes to the “way things are.”
Jesus castigated the Pharisees because of their traditions and said that those traditions “invalidated the Word of God.” When you depend on tradition you fail to tap into God’s vast resources.
Tradition can be a great road map, unless that road is a rut.
Indecision and hesitation always stunt our growth. The Bible says, “How long will you halt between two opinions?” When God gives you direction, it’s time to move. Timing is always key.
If you wait for the right time or the right circumstances, you will never begin.
Worry and impatience are dreadful interruptions to the growth process. These sidetracking derivatives of the growth process distract focus and energies from your goal. They drain adrenaline and needlessly redirect concentration. Changes the things you have control over, but do not waste time worrying about things you cannot change.
Planting yourself in the wrong place — the wrong soil if you will — also is a hindrance to our growth. God has a distinct track for each of your lives, and when you take a detour from that track, you take your life from under His divine umbrella. As the Israelites followed the cloud to maintain their blessing, so too, must you continue in the place where God has called you.
Lack of preparation stalls growth and causes disorganization. Jesus prepared thirty years for his ministry that lasted only 3 1/2 years. Paul retired to the desert before beginning his ministry. Moses spent forty years readying himself for the key years of his life. Dare you believe that preparation is not vital to your ministries and vocations? Without this key ingredient, you leave yourself open to potholes and detours.
There is yet another essential ingredient to the growth process: Accountability. With it, you preserve integrity and expose yourselves to new ideas, a mentoring process and checks and balances. Without accountability, you open yourself to the pitfalls of pride, suspicion and tradition.
These are but a few of the key elements of the growth process that can either cause us to flourish or flounder. Taking action against these paralyzing enemies of growth will determine whether or not you become champions and fulfill your destiny, which is God’s plan for your lives.
Think about these conclusions:
- Change the things you have control over and don’t waste time worrying about things you cannot change.
- When God gives you direction, do not delay. Move!
- When we depend on tradition, we fail to tap into God’s vast resources.
- Lack of preparation stalls growth and causes disorganization.