Growing down in the faith

Growth feels slow. It did as a kid. It does as a Christian. So how can we know if we’re growing at all? 

We tend to think of growth like a child becoming an adult. Maturity looks like becoming more independent.

Or at work, growth is becoming an expert in what you do.

And so, the logic goes, a growing Christian must become more independent, more stable and able to manage life.

Really?

Well, no.

Become a child

Growing as a Christian looks completely different. It’s not about becoming more independent, but less; it’s not about becoming an adult, but a child.

We’re growing when we have a deeper sense of our dependence on God’s grace. Paul Tripp recently tweeted:

‘Christian maturity is not about arriving at the point where you no longer need grace, but about a deeper sense of need for and appreciation of the grace you’ve been given.’

Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Christians are like dependent children. Not independent adults. Or experts.

Destined for dependence

We begin and end life in the same way. As newborns or elderly believers, we need help to get dressed. We can’t work. Our memory is short. We need others.

Growing older means growing towards this greater dependence; God shows us physically what is true spiritually.

To grow up as a Christian is to grow down. Down toward complete dependence on him.

Down to the level of a child who wants nothing more than to sit in his Father’s lap and listen to his voice.