You may list some of the characteristics that signify spiritual growth as fruit of the Spirit, a repentant heart, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, consistency in your walk with God, the practice of spiritual disciplines, love for God and for His Word, obedience, fear of God, a changed life, and dependence on God. But to what degree do those characteristics need to be present in order to indicate spiritual growth?
In terms of activities that would indicate spiritual growth, you may think of activities such as quiet times, confession, Bible study, prayer, fellowship, sharing your faith, and worship. But do those activities ensure spiritual growth?
To be honest, it is difficult to measure spiritual growth in concrete terms because we can have godly characteristics and do things that look spiritual, but still not be growing spiritually.
There is no secret, no formula, no twelve steps to guarantee spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is not a program or a list of do’s and don’ts. It is a result of God working in us through the Holy Spirit, changing us over time as we respond to Him and allow Him to work.
Spiritual disciplines are the God-given means that He uses in the process of making us more like Him, moving us toward godliness and sanctification. They should be a delight, not drudgery. They can be a delight if we know what they are, understand their purpose, and beware the dangers. We will look further at these three areas in the upcoming weeks.
Spiritual disciplines are not the goal. By themselves, they can do nothing. They only get us to the place where God can work in us.
So what are your thoughts about measuring spiritual growth? What do you look for?