There’s No Growth without Death

I’m sure you’ve heard good Christians say things like I want to know God more this year. I want to be more prayerful. To read my Bible more regularly. To be more committed at church. Perhaps even give more. The problem is like with many new year resolutions they don’t see beyond February. Why? Because with most good intentions we don’t really think they have a cost. We assume we’ll wake up tomorrow and fix our lifestyle. We’ll be that godly guy we admire at church. That dream family. We’ll be known for our generosity and our children for their discipline and godliness. But we forget if it was that easy everyone could do it. We forget there is a price to be paid.

There’s a Price Tag

The truth is nothing grows and bears fruit from thin air. We must plant the seed and let it die on the ground. Jesus in his planting analogy said until the seed breaks in the ground there’s no growth. Unless he died the church would never have been born. Our salvation began with death. Our redemption with a brutal murder. If we choose to follow Jesus he says we must bear our own cross. How then do we suppose to be more godly, more committed, to serve more, pray more and give more without something dying?

For every fruit of the spirit we bear in our hearts we must see the brutal death of the idols in there. Love will not grow side by side with our selfishness. Generosity won’t grow where hoarding and accumulation exists. And if you want to be committed you must give up something in your life. Social Media has to decrease so that prayer increases. Me time has to reduce so that community time grows. Our ego has to die to learn humility and service. We cannot have it both ways.

Something Has to Die

The problem is when we think about good works we only look at the end product not the process. We admire the tree with its beautiful fruits forgetting what it took to get there. We envy that ministry not realising the foundational work that came with it. Think about anyone you admire whether it’s the prayerful woman at church, that godly man, the couple that opens their door to everyone or that pastor who labours hard for the Gospel. Now stop looking at the fruit and ask yourself what they had to give up. If you want to bring radical change you must be willing to pay the price. You must kill something to bear something else. As Jesus says it’s only after we’ve counted the cost that we can truly follow him. Something has to die to usher a new era.

What do you want to change in your life? You want to become more committed, to lead a better devotional life, love more or totally change your lifestyle? Begin with what needs to die. There’s got to be a brutal death in your life for a godly life to appear. You must be willing to put off something so you can wear something else. To kill sin so that the fruits of the Spirit are born in your life. To kill worldliness for godliness to germinate. To say no to a casual relationship with God you need a brutal murder to your floating Christian lifestyle. Bring this to God, don’t just say make me godly. Say help me kill this sin. Don’t just ask help to pray more. Ask his help to kill what distracts you. Growth begins with death.

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