As a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:10-12
We have taken a week exploring Spiritual Formation, or how to grow up into maturity in Christ. (Ephesians 4:14-16) It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to become more like him and to pray the words of St. Richard of Chichester daily, ‘My Lord Jesus Christ, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day’.
This process engages three distinct, yet interconnected, aspects of our life. The first is our thinking. Growing up we are surrounded by a multiplicity of ideas and we observe a variety of approaches to life.
Consequently, we form opinions about what’s good and what’s right. How can we judge which is best? For the disciple, it is Scripture that offers us clear guidance and remains the source of Christian tradition and practice.
Encountering Christ in the Bible will enable us to live as Jesus wants us to. The second is our emotions, for these will determine how we respond in life.
Our feelings are strong drivers that rise within and easily overwhelm our capacity to think before we act. We are often left with regrets when we think through how we reacted and served our emotions rather than God’s purpose in our life.
Finally there is our behaviour, or putting our Christian understanding into practice. This clearly demonstrates that we are indeed living by God’s Word in service in God’s world. This is both at a personal and at a community level; loving God and loving neighbour.
Life serves as a pilgrimage in which we journey towards God’s heart through our diverse experiences. If we address our need to grow in God we shall engage as the Church in worship and service, establish a practical and meaningful devotional life and discover how to live out the God-life daily.
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Ben Stern on Unsplash
Used with Permission