Why Do Some Flourish?
Why is it that some followers of Jesus flourish and grow while others stagnate and rarely take a step forward in their faith? Some might suggest that they have not been properly taught or discipled. Well, there could be some truth in that, yet I've experienced believers in the same community with similar opportunities to listen and learn from the Scriptures, and one grows, and the other does not. Indeed, the way we receive God's word and what we do with it is of paramount importance. Others may answer, it's because one is deeply engaged in the church's life, while the other is not. Yet participating in the activities of the church does not guarantee growth. Certainly, it can cause burnout, yet there is not always a direct correlation between involvement and spiritual growth. An open, loving, and caring faith community is vital to growth in the faith and coming to maturity in Christ. Possibly it's the kind of involvement and the motivation behind the involvement that facilitate or hinders growth. Yet others will suggest that the answer is small group involvement. But in my experience, some small groups are healthy and vital, while others are dysfunctional. Yet even in very beneficial groups, some grow while others do not. Now I am not rubbishing any of these things. I am simply asking the kind of questions we must ask and keep on asking. I certainly do not have an easy solution. However, my gut feeling is that the answer may rest in our understanding and reception of grace or lack thereof.