By Clint Harden
The term “Growing in Christ” can be a little ambiguous and arbitrary, based on our feelings that day. I know some days I feel like I’m growing as much as I did the summer after my seventh-grade year, other days I feel like I’m withering away like a houseplant I never watered.
In fact, on Sunday, Josh Gores had a regular houseplant on stage and talked about how it looks nice and healthy, but it was fake. The plant was made of plastic.
None of us want to be fake (although it’s become easier in recent years thanks to social media), so how do we ensure we’re the real thing, with roots growing and branches getting longer?
We’re going to look at the passage Josh used on Sunday; Colossians 2:6-7, which says:
“Therefore, as you have 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.”
Josh made an encouraging point about verse six. He said, “Walking in Christ is the first and ultimate goal.”
As Christians, walking in Christ is not only how we grow, but it’s also our aim. Walking in Christ brings fulfillment, completeness, joy, growth, and with growth, challenges.
Growth in Christ is not easy. It requires us to be flexible, ready, and open to what God might have next. Among many things, growing in Christ means you must have an open heart and an open mind to what God will have for you.
It means we find our identity in Christ, which is, our true identity.
Verse seven gives more of a road map for what it means to grow in Christ.
To not be like the plastic houseplant, when we are rooted in Christ and what He calls us to, the building up, establishing, and thanksgiving simply come with the package. Not because we carry those characteristics and wear them like a mask because it’s how a “good Christian” acts, but because those things happen out of a response to what He’s done on the cross.
When we believe, He changes our hearts to abound in thanksgiving and share what He’s taught us with our church family and everyone we know.
Growing in Christ is not reading your Bible more or praying more out of obligation. It’s doing those things because we now believe in and understand what’s been done for us. Jesus died for you, a sinner, and has not held anything against you, and on top of that, called you an ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20).
He’s the one that makes us grow. He’s given us His Word and we can test ourselves through it, which can be a scary exercise.
But, take it as a challenge to look at the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 and see if you’re producing any of those characteristics. Be honest with yourself and where you are in your walk with Christ.
There is always room for improvement but be encouraged that God is gentle in His correction of us. If you’re not producing much fruit, go to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you become more flexible and open to hearing His voice and how He wants to grow you.
To be blunt, being a fake houseplant means there’s no life.
When roots grow and the plant changes and produces fruit, we know there’s life in that plant.