Spiritual growth will look different for everyone because our relationship with God is different. May this post encourage you in your spiritual growth with God, knowing that it’s between you and God and no one else. No one else can build your relationship with God.
Every day you get to become more like Jesus!
What is Spiritual Growth
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. When we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins the process of making us more like Him, conforming us to His image.
John 17:16-17 says, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy. Sanctification is also a part of our spiritual growth.
While we are positionally holy (“set free from every sin” by the blood of Christ), we know that we still sin. We are not sinners but saints. We still sin, resulting in a sin habit.
“Progressive” sanctification, as it is sometimes called, is the effect of obedience to the Word of God in one’s life. It is the same as growing in the Lord or spiritual maturity (spiritual growth).
Why Spiritual Growth is Important as a Christian Woman
Spiritual growth is important for how we serve God, interact with other people, and take care of our families.
Hebrews 6:1 says, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”
Through this scripture, we see we should be spiritually growing and become mature in Christ. We are to move beyond the elementary teachings and grow more like Christ everyday.
There are many other reasons why spiritual growth is important:
- We want to be able to lead our families like Jesus
- We will need to know how to disciple other believers
- Knowing how to lead the lost to Christ
- Being equipped for every good work
- To see and experience the kingdom of God
- To discern what is good, right, pure, and true
Spiritual growth is important because we are not called to remain the same person we once were.
What Are Examples of Spiritual Growth
Discipline is defined as “training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior.” Discipline is not part of the sin nature, but it is a natural component of the Christian life. Why is discipline important for spiritual growth? Because the disciplines we learn about in scripture cause spiritual growth.
Some examples of spiritual disciplines leading to spiritual growth are:
By practicing the spiritual disciplines, we place our minds, temperaments, and bodies before God and seek the grace of his transformation. In this way, we learn to appropriate the power of kingdom living.
However, our transformation and spiritual growth don’t come by direct effort. A transformed life by spiritual growth is a life that embodies the fruit of the spirit.
Spiritual disciplines aid in our spiritual growth process. A perfect example of spiritual discipline is the life of Jesus.
We can’t earn from God, but it requires action for us to live in grace.
How Do You Achieve Spiritual Growth
There are four stages we walk through as we become spiritually mature.
The first stage is inspiration. In this stage, we acquire information and knowledge. This may look like reading the Bible or a book related to spiritual growth. We gather information about a specific topic.
The second stage is revelation. During this stage, we gain an understanding of the information and knowledge we studied. Gathering information is great, but if we do not understand the information gathered, then the information will not benefit us.
The third stage is integration. This stage is one of the most important stages. We begin to apply the information we understand. We can think of this as faith and works. It’s important for us to not only read the word but to be obedient to the word as well. If we are not applying the word, then the last stage can not happen.
The fourth stage is transformation. The final stage of spiritual growth is when we become transformed by the word of God. Not everything can be learned by reading. We must integrate and apply what we know and understand. During the transformation stage, we gain wisdom. We learn how to take the information we understand and use it appropriately.
Signs of Spiritual Growth
How to know we are spiritually growing:
- We are quick to find peace in a storm
- We live in hope
- We live from victory, not as victims
- We look for the good in people and not their faults
- We are the first to apologize and mean it
- We lead with love toward ourselves and others, not with shame
- We forgive versus holding grudges
- We are quick to wipe off offenses
- We are not afraid to give
- We find joy everyday and laugh more
A few other signs of spiritual growth are you are slow to speak, you recognize your opinion isn’t needed everywhere, and you don’t have to prove your point.
Spiritual growth is about taking up His cross daily. In this process, we emotionally heal and become mature in Christ.
Bible Verses About Spiritual Growth
“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now, you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
The analogy Paul is giving here is referring to how infants can’t handle meat but have to feed on milk, so carnal Christians can’t abide by the strong meat of righteousness by faith. To live carnally is to live by our five senses.
When we don’t take our feelings to God, they become unchecked by the love and truth of God. This can block the power of God in our lives for spiritual growth.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
The Lord has already given us His grace (Titus 2:11 and John 1:16), but we can grow in our knowledge of it. Remember, all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of God, increasing our spiritual growth.
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2
This is a list of what the writer called “the principles of the doctrine of Christ.” He was saying these are elementary things, and we need to go past these things to maturity.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7
Paul was likening growth in the Lord to a tree. The seed planted is just the first step for spiritual growth. Much growth has to take place before the tree is firmly established and able to withstand the elements. Likewise, Christians who just believe and don’t grow are in a vulnerable position.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
As we mature in the word of God, so do we continue to grow in these areas listed by Peter. They continue to build upon each other for our spiritual growth.
10 Best Books for Spiritual Growth
I love Christian authors who stay true to the Word and are not afraid to speak the Truth with love and grace. Demonstrating that God is holy and just as much as He is loving and kind.
Finding good Christian authors is important. When I am looking to buy new books from Christian authors, I will read their bio, look at their social media to see if their message is consistent, and look to see if they preach the whole Word. I love reading from different Christian authors that deliver the Word in the gifts that God has given each of them.
Here is where you will find the 10 best books for spiritual growth!
10 Best Spiritual Growth Podcasts
It’s important for me to listen to different Christian podcasts for spiritual growth because everyone has a different gift and calling. We should be listening to different interpretations and discerning what is the Truth. Some of these Christian women below are my friends, while others, I have listened to their podcasts and read their content for a while. I’m grateful for how God made the body of Christ to be skilled in all different areas.
We are not just physical bodies or thinking beings. We are a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body, which means every part of who we are needs attention and training by the Word.
Here is where you will find the 10 best spiritual growth podcasts!
How Spiritual Growth Affects Your Life
Since we are a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body, what we do affects every part of us. Taking care of our bodies help us to take care of our mind. Taking care of our minds helps to flourish our relationships. Healing breeds life in the body.
Spiritual growth affects not only our spiritual life but our emotional and physical life as well.
How Spiritual Growth Affects Trust
I think now, more than ever, we need to understand that it is possible to restore trust and how it impacts our spiritual growth. It might take time, and it might take intention, but there is always hope through Jesus. Broken trust is when someone does not follow through on what their promises are to you or when their words (on a consistent basis) do not match their actions.
What happens at that moment when it breaks? How can we begin to look past the pain so that we can begin to overcome broken trust?
All relationships are imperfect. Therefore, all relationships are going to deal with some form of broken trust in one way or another. We need to have the hope that whether we’re the ones that broke the trust or that someone broke our trust, it is possible to restore broken trust. But we need to understand what it takes to rebuild that.
It takes far less time to break trust than it does to rebuild trust. We need to hope that it can happen, but we also need help to know exactly what it takes to restore trust.
Learn more about rebuilding broken trust in my Spiritual Growth Framework course.
How Spiritual Growth Affects Boundaries
I feel like when we hear the word “boundaries,” we think it’s a hard line drawn in the sand that no one can cross at any time. In other words, we believe emotional boundaries to be a place of seclusion and keeping people out of our lives.
Sure, some emotional boundaries we set may keep people at a safe distance from us. However, the point of boundaries is to let people in our lives know how far to go with us. When we want to create community and deepen relationships, we must communicate with others about our levels of safety and what protects both people involved from getting hurt any further.
When we refer to the Bible, we can see that boundaries also have to do with self-control which we learned above comes with spiritual growth and maturity. The Bible commands us to control ourselves. However, our human nature desires to control others (Titus 2:12).
Spiritual growth affects how we nurture our relationships.
How Spiritual Growth Affects Your Mental Health
Overcoming anxiety is something that is possible when we walk out the healing available to us. What is common doesn’t need to be normal for you. Yes, there will be times when your feelings may get big, and anxiousness comes for you. But our God is always bigger than the feelings that come.
Your feelings have a seat at the table, but they are not the centerpiece. Spiritual growth allows us to be able to go to God with our feelings. By doing so, our feelings begin to transform when we are not trying to do it all ourselves.
Our lack of control causes us to want to control and worry, which leads to anxiety and anxiousness.
When we want to overcome anxiety or fear, it’s naming our feelings that help them transition from our heads to our hearts to find healing.
The enemy would love to convince you that you are powerless and have no control over your feelings or thoughts with the Lord.
Healing is available to you now. The thing about healing is that it has been paid for by Jesus’ blood, but we often forget that healing can take time to walk out, but miracles happen in moments. I think when many of us talk about healing, we are thinking of miracles instead of walking out our healing over time.
It takes faith, time, and patience. Renewing our minds through the word and our relationship with the Father takes time.
But it also takes intentionality. Healing doesn’t just happen to us. It’s active, not passive.
Stress is short-term.
Anxiety can linger.
How Spiritual Growth Affects Forgiving Others
Are we supposed to forgive and forget? There are 3 important truths you need to know about forgiveness from a Biblical perspective to begin healing your hurting heart, which impacts your spiritual growth.
Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to process through.
“Does this mean that if I forgive someone it makes everything right?”
“If I forgive this person, am I letting them off the hook?
It can hurt too much to think you have to “be okay” with this person or situation.
However, when learning more about forgiveness, I understood it’s not about dismissing what happened but forgiving the debt owed to me.
First, we must understand there is no limit to which we are to forgive. We don’t get to decide who is worthy of forgiveness and who is not. (Don’t allow this to hinder your spiritual growth.) Despite what they have done or may do, scripture is clear we are to forgive those who hurt us. Where does this lead us when it comes to forgiving and forgetting?
Christians are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us. It is He who provides the ability to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over.
This makes it clear that if God forgave the enormous debt of sin against a holy God, how much more should we be eager to forgive those who sin against us, who are just as sinful as they?
- Forgiveness is not an emotion.
- Forgiveness makes way for healing to come.
- To forget is to receive forgiveness and not allow your past to dictate your present or run your future.