Some claim to have a “green thumb” – a gift for making things grow and flourish.
My plants are getting by but I’m not sure I’m helping them to grow and flourish in all the ways I should.
I might be a little better with kids. For the most part, we must be doing ok with them. They are growing physically and have hit some maturity milestones along the way so far. I see signs of growth in learning and knowledge, and even maturity and decision making. I pray we’re also helping them to begin to flourish, as they start to comprehend who their Creator is and the purpose He has placed in their lives.
And then I start to think about myself. Am I doing the best things to ensure that I will continue to grow? Am I flourishing? Am I surrounded by people in my life who desire that for me too?
Maybe you’re asking yourself some of the same questions right now. A new year rolling around can have us taking stock of our lives and doing a little annual reflection and evaluation… and questioning.
As I thought about it more, I came across these words in Scripture, from 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe — as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
In this section, Paul was reminding God’s people (of the church in Corinth then, and us today) who their true leader, their true head, their master builder or gardener, really is – it wasn’t their earthly leaders or them on their own who were doing the work…
…but only God, who makes things grow.
The field, the soil, the foundation, the building is God’s – He set it, He created it. Now, seeds can be planted in our lives through others – in conversations, interactions, readings and writings – like Paul describes about himself and Apollos. More may enter in to nourish, water, and encourage those places in our lives – maybe family members, friends, family of faith, or small group. But ultimately, God is the One who brings the growth – especially the growth that honors Him and expands the kingdom. And even more – through a connection with His daily protection, provision, presence, and peace – He also helps us to flourish in the areas aligned with His purpose for our lives.
So back to that annual wondering about yourself and your growth…
I encourage you to acknowledge that you have had growth in your life and to first celebrate the places you can see growth. Then, think about one to two areas where you have a desire to grow (the seed was planted once, but there’s not been much watering). Start taking some steps – I’d encourage you to begin to intentionally connect with God through His Word and in prayer. You can begin to develop this habit and open the door all the way to God bringing growth in your life through some simple tools. Check out some of these helpful links:
Do you feel like you have limited time, or you need something that’s direct and easy to digest in your day? Take a look at the Two-Minute Multiplier from FiveTwo and consider subscribing to this daily message that’s delivered right to your inbox each morning. A good way to connect and gain perspective as you start your day.
If you’d like to connect with devotions that speak to specific areas you want to grow, take a look at the You Version Bible App. In this easy to download, convenient app, you can discover a variety of ways to connect with the Word, prayer, your church, and others. The app also allows you to set reminders to connect daily to help develop your personal responsibility and accountability as you aim to make progress.
You don’t have to do any of this alone. If you’re looking for some community or a prayer or accountability partner, let’s connect. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. You can also consider getting plugged in to some of the classes and groups that meet here through F3 on Wednesday evenings (Winter & Fall Session) or with The Rooted Experience.
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