The bridge between spiritual and personal growth
God wants us to be whole. He made us in His image. He has three components (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We also have three components: Body, Spirit, and Soul.
The sad thing though, is that most Christians focus solely on developing themselves spiritually. They neglect to develop themselves in other areas and so miss out on becoming all that God wants them to become.
Well, here are some bad mindsets, habits, or even excuses that some believers have developed who neglect their personal growth.
1- I Just Need to Wait on the Lord. We all love the verse in Isaiah 40:31 which says: “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
It’s one of my personal favorites. But here is the problem with many of us… we often prefer to ‘Wait on the Lord’, while neglecting to do the work first. We reason that good things come to those who wait. But, we oftentimes fail to understand that oftentimes God wants us to wait actively.
You see, those who stick solely with spiritual growth may sometimes use it as a crutch. They do this in order to appear spiritual, but also in order to avoid stepping out of their comfort zones. Which is easier, to say: “I am waiting on the Lord”, or to do all that you can do with what He has given you first… and then to leave the results to God?
“Some wait on the Lord because they find it’s easier than girding themselves and getting to work.”
2- Personal Growth is by Pagans for Pagans. We associate personal growth with ungodly paganism and faithlessness. That is understandable. Many of the top personal growth gurus, i.e. Oprah, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and a slew of others, have a very strong New Age flavour. As you know, the New Age has many beliefs that are not compatible with Christianity. So, in reaction to this, Christians threw the baby out with the bath water.
What do I mean?
Well, for example, they’ll throw out anything that reminds them of their teachings. For example, it’s not because we disagree with Tony
Robbins’ view of God that all his methods are ineffective, bad, or wrong. It’s not because we dislike some guru that everything they teach doesn’t work or goes against the Bible.
So, to protect themselves from the 10%+ leaven found in secular personal growth, some believers just stick to the Bible – and not much else outside of it.
That said, the Bible is my number one source of personal growth and should be the place to start for any believer, but…
The main problem is that instead of the fear of God, many Christians have developed the fear of false doctrine.
So, to protect themselves, they stick only to what is deemed ‘safe’, i.e. their church, the Bible, and ‘Christian books’. This way, they avoid other books that don’t have a Christian flavour.
Problem is… there are many very useful secular books out there that do not go against scriptures and that can help you grow tremendously. God has used many secular books to make me grow throughout the years. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership… to name just a few.
Secular just means non-religious… not Anti-Christ. There is a difference. So, discernment and balance are required here.
Charles Spurgeon, the renowned preacher, gave us a very good rule of thumb for personal development consumption. He said:
“Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” – Charles Spurgeon
3- I Already Know All I Need to Know Because I’m a Believer. Some Christians believe they have all the answers (through doctrine and the Holy Ghost), so they do not seek answers anymore. Here is the thing; God knows all things – we don’t.
Those who believe they already have all the answers stop growing.
The apostle Paul said Knowledge puffs up. You may have also heard that “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Someone once said:
“The greatest danger in having a little knowledge is not knowing that it is just that; a little knowledge.”
When we believe we have all the answers… we stop seeking, knocking, asking…
Jesus said this about those who believe they have all the answers:
“For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”
Too often, we act like the Pharisees who had all the answers and say, ‘We see.’
Now, today we want to demonstrate that spiritual growth and personal growth are not at odds with each other, but rather how they work together to make you everything that God wants you to be.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of personal development: Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
So, it’s obvious from this simple definition, that Christians also Need Personal Development.
Personal and Spiritual growth are two sides of one coin. They complement each other in ways that most believers ignore. Personal growth feeds the Human Being part of you, and spiritual growth feeds the Spiritual Being part of you.
And, as Christian entrepreneur, you need both in order to be successful.
As Christians, we are part of two realms: Heaven (our retirement), and Earth (our place of work).
Some Christians make the mistake of being so focused on heaven that their feet aren’t touching the ground. By constantly thinking about their retirement, they neglect the work they have to do here and now.
“Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Spiritual growth establishes your solid foundation in Christ. Personal growth determines how high your edifice will rise.
Here are the most interesting observations about both:
1- Spiritual growth is always aimed towards God. Personal growth is always aimed towards self.
2- Spiritual growth can increase your status and rewards in heaven. Personal Growth can increase your status and rewards on earth.
3- Spiritual growth improves your knowledge of God, about God, and your walk with Him. Personal growth improves your knowledge of self, your relationship with others, and with the world around you.
4- Spiritual growth makes you go deeper spiritually. Personal growth makes you go higher and wider humanly.
5- Spiritual growth makes you see your limits and your need of God. Personal growth makes you see your God-given potential and possibilities.
6- Spiritual growth produces humility and dependence on God. Personal growth produces confidence in the tools and abilities God gave you.
7- Spiritual growth makes you pray for and appreciate miracles. Personal growth makes you want to be a miracle.
8- Spiritual Growth makes you more aware of your inherent poverty. Personal growth makes you more aware of your riches.
9- Spiritual growth makes you more competent in heavenly matters. Personal growth makes you more competent in earthly matters.
10- Spiritual growth makes you more generous. Personal growth gives your more to give.
11- Spiritual growth helps you believe that God can do all things. Personal growth makes helps you believe that, with God’s help, YOU can do all things. (I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.)
12- Spiritual growth makes you long for heaven’s glory. Personal Growth makes you want to make it happen here and now. Remember the Lord’s prayer? Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven?
In closing, I want to leave you with a few thoughts…
The balanced Christian Entrepreneur will demonstrate the fruit of both spiritual growth, and personal growth.
The balanced Christian entrepreneur will keep heaven in mind as he advances God’s work here on earth.
The balanced Christian Entrepreneur will feed, not just his spirit, but his growth, skill, and useful knowledge as well.
After reading this, I hope you will aim to become a balanced believer for God’s Kingdom and glory.
P.S. You can listen to the podcast episode related to this post here: https://www.thrivingonpurpose.com/12-reasons-why-christians-need-personal-development/