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Session 21

How to Stunt Your Spiritual Growth

Read: Proverbs 1:30-33, 2 Timothy 3:14-17

When I was a little girl, big people told me that if I ate my vegetables I would grow up tall. They said drinking coffee would stunt my growth. I ate plenty of home-grown beans, corn and okra from Georgia gardens. And, when Mama would let me, I drank only a little bit of white coffee (a mostly milk-and-sugar concoction). I still did not grow very tall (5'3”), so I am not sure if those people were right.

There is a sure way to stunt our spiritual growth: just refuse to let God rebuke us. If God convicts us of wrongdoing and we deny or defend our sin, we basically stop growing; we reject His lordship over our lives so we hit a plateau, spiritually. God speaks and rebukes us through His Spirit, His Word and godly people. Paul tells Timothy that God's Word teaches, reproves, corrects and trains us in righteousness so that we will be adequately equipped as Christians (2 Tim. 3:16). True Christian friends will also rebuke us gently and tell us how to get on track. We must embrace their tough love if we want to reach the heights that God has for us.

Granted, having our faults pointed out is not fun. The fun begins when God fixes our faults, frees us from sin and propels us into the purpose-filled life He has for us. Proverbs 1:29-33 says,“Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.” We grow as Christians by changing into people who go through life God's way, not our own way. We do this by receiving truth about ourselves that we do not want to hear and letting God instruct, correct and bless us.

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