‘Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord.’ 2 Peter 3:18 KJV
There are two things that help determine personal growth:
(1) Your relationships. The Bible says, ‘Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?’ (Amos 3:3 NLT) The company you keep will lift you, level you, or lower you. A lady wrote this letter to an advice columnist: ‘In my last year of school my English teacher took an essay I’d written and torn it apart in front of the class. I was humiliated— I felt dumb. That was years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.’ In a few short seconds, the wrong person diminished this woman’s sense of self-worth for a lifetime.
(2) Your reflections. When a Sunday school teacher asked a little girl, ‘Who made you?’ she replied, ‘God made part of me.’ The teacher asked, ‘What do you mean?’ The girl replied, ‘God made me little—and I grew the rest of myself.’ God holds us responsible for our personal growth. The psalmist wrote, ‘I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.’ (Psalm 119:99 NKJV) The word ‘meditation’means ‘reflective thinking’. Like a slow cooker, meditation allows your thoughts to slowly simmer until they’re done. Most of us would rather act than think. But as Socrates observed, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Reflective thinking is uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. For instance, we have difficulty staying focused. We find the process dull, and we don’t particularly enjoy spending time reflecting on difficult issues. But if you don’t carve out time for reflection and meditation, you won’t mature. You won’t grow in the ‘grace and… knowledge’ you need to succeed. It’s that simple.