The different seasons of spiritual growth

Hi friends,

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?


This is a great prompt to reflect back on our own life. My entrance into the Christian faith was marked by spiritual experiences and answered prayers that I had not known as a hindu and I desired greatly to share this truth with others. The rest of the journey has been mainly to discover how to do this right.

The early years of faith were about developing a habit of reading the Bible and prayer and learning to walk in obedience in the most obvious areas. There were then different phases of growth both experientially through circumstances God allowed as well as intellectually- beginning with understanding my identity in Christ, then a season of growing in knowledge of the Word, growing in knowledge to defend my beliefs, then a season of understanding how the body of Christ functions, a period of focus on emotional growth and relationships and a period of focus on understanding my own spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. While all of these areas of growth happened simultaneously as well, there were certainly specific areas that were the focus of certain periods of growth. The growing never stops though the focus changes from time to time. And through all of this greater the dependence on the grace and love of God, the growth was easier but harder when I tried my own way.