At various times in my life, I’ve prioritized different kinds of growth.
In some seasons, I was interested in following the rules - and wanted others to do what was right. My concern was holiness/righteousness.
At other times, I was passionate about knowing theology and apologetics. I wanted to worship God with my mind - and see others believe the truth, too.
In some environments, my focus is on feeling close to God. I’m eager to have spiritual experiences - and want others to experience intimacy in God’s presence.
I think all of these interests make sense and have biblical support.
Increasingly, I want to live by the Spirit to become like Christ in the context of community. I’m interested in being wholehearted in my love for God and my neighbors.
Is there anything more comprehensive, fundamental, or important than God restoring our hearts to be-loved and to love others?
However, I don’t want to create a false dichotomy. We are interconnected, complex creatures!
To be wholehearted in my love does involve a change in my actions and habits, what I believe, and my emotional experience of God’s care.
But, the important thing is that changes in these areas are a matter of faith expressing itself in love. The priority - which I stumble to maintain - is that, by grace, I attempt to depend on God to transform my identity.
And I don’t want to be foolish - there are times when God is leading us to focus very much on changing our behaviors, beliefs, or to experience emotional healing. At times, this can be totally absorbing and nearly our entire focus! And rightly so. We need wisdom to discern these intensive seasons and allow ourselves to be present with them.
What have you noticed about different seasons of spiritual growth?