The past few days have been landmark around our house. Potty training came in like a lion and out like a lamb. Many flushes, gold-stars and prizes later and our toddler has reached porcelain status. She’s on her way to becoming a full-fledged big kid. I take no credit. I was like an understudy as my wife played the starring role as master trainer.
Some quick observations I had this week:
- My wife is a toddler whisperer. To witness her at work as she guided our daughter toward her latest lesson in self-sufficiency was nothing short of remarkable as she practiced patience and praise while making the process fun.
- It’s amazing how quickly you get used to hearing the phrase “big girl panties” used in casual conversation with friends and family.
- My child wants to learn, grow and develop.
#3 really spoke to me. To see my little one run from the safe confines of diaper-life prompts me to seek out those areas in my life where growth is stagnant. It requires me to confess to God my distrust in Him at times when I feel I’m being challenged. It makes me ask God again for His direction so that I can be about the work He wants me to be about.
Growth Starts With Honesty
Do you have an area in your life where you are cycling around, coming back to the same spot over and over and wondering how you go back there in the first place? Anger, envy, gluttony, greed, laziness, lust and pride, whether in part or whole, can lead a believer to live as if they don’t believe in the holy work done by Jesus Christ to free sinners from bondage.
Telling yourself the truth about what is keeping you from growing is the first step toward moving on from where you are.
Growth Continues With Confession
When you are stagnant, God knows you’re not dealing with Him straight. Like the parent who continues to ask patiently about the truth as their child continues to conceal the toy behind their back when they were asked to put it away, God wants us to admit we haven’t relied on His direction and have chosen to go our own way. This confession affirms what God knows already and paves the way for our intentions, motives and passions to resume in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Growth Goes in the Direction of God
As believers, our lives are not our own. I’m sorry if somebody has sold you on something different. Our lives are paid for, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross in order to satisfy the justice of God while also displaying the compassion of God on a sinful creation. Through the life and death of Jesus, sin was paid for eternally. The fact that Jesus rose again, thereby defeating death, allows those who believe in Him to share in an eternal future with Him. This work was not done so that those who believe in Him could say a quick thanks and go do whatever they want. On the contrary, it prompts the believer to live for Jesus Christ, to die to self and to seek the lost with the good news of his salvation. All of our growth should head in this direction and ask, “What can I do to bring glory to God?”
Being honest with yourself, being honest with God and asking Him to direct you toward bringing Him more glory is a constant exercise. I’m so glad I could see the picture this week of my wife and toddler working together to do what is in the best interest of our daughter. I’m thankful for their attitudes. I’m thankful for their strengthened relationship by taking on the task together.
I’m thankful for a loving God who is willing to do the same with me.
It makes me want to be a big kid too, constantly learning from my Father in Heaven.
Honesty With Self
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” – Acts 24:16
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, 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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9
“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” – Hebrews 13:18
Confession to God
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” – 1 John 1:6
Direction of God
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
“To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6