“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;”
Growth is a very important aspect of every individual’s life, especially in the life of the believer. God expects the believer to grow because He knows that you are dying if you don’t grow. God’s command to bear fruit requires life, which means you must grow. In the growing process, there is growth, then you prune the tree after the fruit-bearing season, then it grows again. God expects growth to be a continual part of your life.
In the verse above, you will see growth’s timeline. It is imperative for you to understand growth’s timeline so that you don’t become discouraged in those times when you think there is no growth. If you are like me, I enjoy the time where growth is evident and become a little impatient in those times of pruning that allows me to grow some more. However, the timeline of growth is necessary if you are going to continually have growth in your personal walk with God or even in your church. Let me share several observations with you about growth’s timeline.
First, growth takes time. You cannot look at the verse above without noticing the word “time.” Time is a great part of growth. Too many people want to get to the destination of growth that they have in their mind when they don’t understand that there is great value in going through each timeline of the growth process. However, it takes time to get from getting, to losing, to getting again. The mindset that you must immediately get to where you consider growth will cause you to quit your walk with Christ.
Second, growth requires you to give the best to your time. Time is short; therefore, you must give your best to each time of the growth timeline. Every moment you don’t give your best to the time you have robs you of the benefit that the best of that time could have given back to you. If you always treat every second in time with your best effort, you will never miss the rewards that your best effort can produce.
Third, the time of growth takes patience. You must be patient with growth’s process if you are going to enjoy continual growth in your life. Patience in the times of loss is critical to getting you back to the time of gain. If you quickly quit in those times of lull to find something more exciting, you will miss the return on the investment you gave to that time because of your impatience. Patience is critical to growth.
Fourth, growth gets, to lose, so that you can get again. Growth is cyclical. A tree grows, bears fruit, then it is pruned so that it can grow some more and bear more fruit in the next season. Always remember that you cannot experience growth without loss. Loss removes the weights that keep you from growing. You will find that every time you have a loss that growth comes quickly after that loss.
Fifth, there is no destination to growth; it is a continual process. This is critical to remember if you are going to continue growing. If growth had a destination, then that means once you reached the destination that you would no longer grow. Your satisfaction should not come from growth’s fruit but from the fact that you are growing in growth’s timeline. If you delight in the fact that you are growing more than you do where growth has taken you, you will always find yourself desiring more growth, which is God’s will.