Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Blog # 73 GROWING IN FAITH
BLOG # 73 GROWING IN FAITH In all of nature it is easy to see growth, the grass in need of mowing, leaves growing on the trees in Springtime, puppies, gardens, children. What about our own spiritual growth, growth in faith and generosity, growth in our love for God and one another? Is it recognizable? Is it real? The first Bible text that comes to mind when I begin to think of growth before God is 1 Cor. 13: 11. St. Paul says: "When I was a child I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man I put childish things aside". The full implication of the text is that Paul was changing, growing, perfecting himself as the years of his life moved on. Other texts remind us of our need to grow continually in our faith, in our goodness, in our freedom. Col 1: 6 speaks of the Gospel continuing to grow among the people of Colossae. Then in verse nine through eleven of the same chapter the author says that he is praying for the people that they may grow in their knowledge of God Himself. Lk 2: 32 tells us Jesus Himself as a boy grew steadily in wisdom and grace before God and man. In Mathew 6: 28 Jesus tells us to look at the lilies of he fields, how they grow. In Ephesians 4: 14 we read : " Let us then be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather let us profess the truth in love, and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head. Through Him the whole body grows and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament builds itself up in love. These and other similar texts in the Bible readily indicate that faith was not experienced by the early Christians as a static thing, much the same as. you might say, of a precious jewel which you have or do not have in its fullness, which you appreciate , perhaps, more or less, from time to time, but in itself remains the same. Rather faith was organic, living, capable of growth, much the same as friendship, increasing or decreasing through the years, different in its different stages, never intended to be the same ten years from now as it was ten years ago. The Apostles fittingly said to the Lord: increase our faith. (Luke 17 : 5).