Through the summer Steven has worn shorts just about every day – except Sundays. With the exception of the hottest of days in our nasty heat waves, I’ve asked him to wear pants to church on Sunday mornings. Liking structure, habits, and consistency, he hasn’t minded a bit.
One Sunday a month or so ago, I pulled out a requested pair of navy slacks and put them on Steven only to find that they were surprisingly short on him! They weren’t so short that he couldn’t wear them, and he really wanted to wear that pair of pants. So, I left them on him. But, their fit definitely showed concrete evidence of my son’s growth. Last fall they were too long and had to be rolled up. As spring came into full swing, the pants no longer had to be rolled up, but they were still a bit baggy around the ankles. Now they are probably soon to be passed down to a younger little boy. Yes, definitely obvious growth.
Other than growing outward (which I am trying to reverse and then avoid repeating), I have been done with physical growth for a couple of decades. But, spiritual growth is another story. Just as my children are growing physically right now, sometimes my spiritual growth is slow and other times I make a drastic increase. Either way, though, there should be indicators of my growth.
Which leads me to ask…are there such indicators? Do I handle things like anger, difficult circumstances, uncertainty, and anxiety better than I did a season ago? Am I quicker to obey? Am I more passionate about sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with a lost world? Am I less tied to this world? Less caught up in stuff? More concerned about things of God than the cares of daily life?
When a preschooler is growing, the signs are hard to miss. When he’s not growing well, it’s easy to see as well. With our spiritual lives, however, it can be so much easier to avoid stopping to take stock of our growth. Just as we take time every season to evaluate our children’s growth and what new clothing they need to accommodate that growth, we should stop and evaluate our spiritual growth, even if just to make sure we really are growing!