3 Ways of Growing in Christ

This is a guest post by Greg Woodard. Greg says “I am a Christ-follower, husband to Vicki, father to Liahna & David, and am an active duty Navy Chaplain serving Marines. I write about living my story, I hope to impact your story, and I ponder the influence of God’s story on all of us.” You can contact him on Twitter and visit his website GregoryWoodard.com. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Growing in Christ - Tree Growing

Successful people aren’t necessarily smarter, more gifted, nor luckier. They tend to have habits that fan the flame of their success. Those who succeed in business are self-starters, goal oriented, have a strong sense of priorities, and tend to make business deals with others that are mutually beneficial.

In Psalm 1 there are three practices that are important in our course toward success.

Don’t Follow The Crowd

When we follow the crowd, we are going along to get along. We should engage with people who have different values than us. We need to be careful about allowing their habits and conduct to influence us.

In Psalm 1:1, King David writes:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers…

Notice the progression of engagement. We casually greet others as we walk by them in the hallway. We might stop to have a short conversation. It is when we sit down to converse that we are most engaged.

The amount of fellowship we have with people whose values are different than ours can lead us away from the pursuits that will take us in right directions for our lives. Wrong desires can lead to wrong actions that can ultimately lead to death of dreams.

When Walt Disney came up with a brainstorm he would pitch the idea to ten people. If they were all against it, he would immediately go to work on the project. Disney had learned that the crowd is not always right.

Adopt A One Track Mind

We are to delight in right thinking.

In Psalm 1:2 we read this:

…but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

We need to be vigilant in not allowing destructive thoughts into our minds. The Apostle Paul gives us good guidance in gaining a one track mind:

Finally brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

Gain Deeply Rooted Core Values

In Psalm 1:3-4 we read:

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

A life not grounded by strong core values is like chaff. It is a life that is easily influenced by by the surrounding culture. A life that is grounded is like a tree planted by rivers of water. A tree that is well watered over time is sturdy and is resilient when trials come.

A life rooted by core values will stand strong in the face of challenges from those who would seek to sway you from your path.

Growth in character takes time. We have to:

  1. Commit to do what is right (Don’t follow the crowd)
  2. Maintain an honest and pure heart (Get a one track mind)
  3. Be patient (Gain deeply rooted core values)

The Apostle Paul said it this way:

And let us not become weary in doing well, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).

I am a Christ-follower, husband to Vicki, father to Liahna & David, and am an active duty Navy Chaplain serving Marines. I write about living my story, I hope to impact your story, and I ponder the influence of God’s story on all of us. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Please note: We reserve the rights to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 Comments on "3 Ways of Growing in Christ"

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Susan P. Cooper
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Susan P. Cooper

It’s an easy path to follow the crowd. In the end it is the most dangerous because it leads us into many traps that are very hard to extract ourselves. When we look into our soul we really do know what we need to do and what our core values are telling us. It is so easy to say and not so easy to do, but worth it in the end. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

Darrell
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Darrell

Hey Greg!

Don’t follow the crowd, that’s what our moms always told us! Took a while to learn that they were correct.

I absolutely agree with you, self-starters and people with focus and the courage of their convictions are pretty hard to hold back.

You just can’t keep someone down who is fixed on a goal. Great article Greg. Thanks.

Grace Houle
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Grace Houle

Great job! I thought it was well laid out and easy to digest. I love how truth stands on its own.

Gregory Woodard
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Gregory Woodard
Gracie, Thanks for your comment. I am not suggesting that we don’t fellowship with those who share different values. As a Navy Chaplain, I fellowship with those who don’t share my values every day. In fact, I just returned from a night in the field with several Marines (some of whom share my values, some of whom don’t). I agree with your point about being one who influences. I realize that I can’t convert every Marine that I meet with (nor is that my goal). Rather, with every conversation I am trying to put a stone in their shoe. I… Read more »
Grace Houle
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Grace Houle

Thanks for writing back. Sounds like we are on the same page :) I heard this quote before, “God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way” I think loving is being honest and open with people about the truth of Gods word, and it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing. God Bless

Mike Mobley
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Mike Mobley

Thanks Grace! Agreed, Greg did a great job writing this post!