You and I are always either growing closer to Jesus or falling away from Him. There’s no middle ground of stagnancy or complacency. You’re either moving forward or digressing backward. Which one is it for you? Are you falling away?
It’s an interesting conversation in our culture of Christianity today. Some will shout at this conversation, “Legalism!”, meaning (I assume), that we should have more grace. “Don’t be too hard on us, because God’s grace covers it.” Have we simply forgotten that our standard is holiness? Truth, God’s grace does cover our sin, but there is also an increasing number of ticket holders to the show “The abuse of grace.” This is the mentality that, “God is going to forgive me anyway, so why not?” Perhaps it isn’t stated so blatantly or disrespectfully, but nevertheless, that is the sentiment. So, where do you fall on this spectrum of maturing in Christ?
Are you growing closer?
Are you falling away?
For those that want to reject this black and white approach, I assure you, these are your two options. You are either growing towards a deeper, closer, active, and committed relationship with Jesus Christ or you’re not. The latter signifies falling away. The goal:
2 Corinthians 3:18
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
“With ever-increasing glory” means consistent movement in the same direction. This is the mark of a genuine, authentic Christ-follower. This is the goal. So, are you? Let me offer to you two of the many evidences of growth. You could say, “You know you’re growing in Christ if…” Likewise, if these are lacking, it may be the eye opener that you need to reveal that you are falling away. Here we go.
1. You know you’re growing in Christ if your life is marked by endurance. 2 Thessalonians 1:4 says, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” There was reason to boast in the Thessalonian church because their endurance through trial produced increased faith within them. Choosing to endure difficulty for the sake of Jesus Christ is a pleasing aroma to a hardened world around us.
2. You know you’re growing in Christ if you’re bearing fruit. No, I’m not talking about apples and oranges here, and I hope you already knew that. Remember Galatians 5:22-23? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Are these virtues present in increasing measure in your life? Do you possess more love and patience than the day that you met Jesus for the first time? You should. Do people know you to be kind, gentle, self-controlled, and good? They should.
So, our question remains. Are you falling away? Or are you growing?
Robin Thieme says
So good. I am so blessed by these every day!