Have you ever felt uncomfortable with “personal growth” ideas as a Christian?
(I go deep on this in my new book.)
Sometimes the positive, self-helpy phrases seem fluffy, hollow, and even selfish.
I’ve struggled to balance a drive to grow with a focus on spiritual things…
In the self-help world there isn’t much concern with things like:
• service to others,
• taking up our cross,
Instead, we constantly hear slogans like:
• “Live your best life”
• “Leave behind things that don’t serve you”
• “Take time for self-care (you deserve it)”
• “Become the best version of yourself”
• “Be the most powerful force in your life”
Sure … these are true to a point. But they make me fidgety when I try to line them up with Jesus’ words, like those in Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
So as Christians, where do we fall on the self-improvement spectrum?
Are we not allowed to focus on those things?
Actually, I’ve realized just the contrary.
As disciples, I believe we have a mandate for personal development — but the focus is different.
Here’s an excerpt from my new book, “Today We Win,” that breaks it down.
“Why am I so passionate about all this “self-improvement” stuff?
Because growth, transformation, and multiplication of our capacity to give life to others is key to the flourishing of the nations and our God-honoring personal fulfillment. To me, passages like Hebrews 6:7–8 (and those like them) form the theological foundation for discovering our purpose, pursuing growth, and then producing fruit like mad.
Even better, those loony, far-fetched visions to change the world we’re almost ashamed to speak out loud are simply waiting for two things.
First, for us to take faithful action and sprint toward the finish line God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1–2). Second, for Jesus to pick up our meager offering of five loaves and two fish and multiply it so it can feed the multitudes …
… I’m passionate about achieving everything I’m capable of in life because I know that, even though I’m a nothing-burger on my own, Jesus can turn my life into something helpful and nourishing for the world.
Our mindset on personal growth and achievement must start from a God-centric position, understanding these five propositions:
- God created me for a purpose.
- My purpose will be aligned with God’s vision to redeem the world.
- Everything I have, and am, is to multiply his goodness for others.
- Growing in mind, body, spirit, and fulfillment is worship.
- I worship God by pursuing his purpose in my life.
Are you willing to be multiplied? Are you willing to pursue a God-sized purpose? Are you willing to risk being a countercultural weirdo who doesn’t chase after the wrong things?”
I hope this encourages you on a path to God-focused, Jesus-honoring personal growth in 2020.
P.S. If you found this helpful, would you be so kind as to share it? I want to get this message in as many hearts, heads, and hands as possible!