We often miss development to grow, not because we lack opportunities, but because we aren’t putting in the required effort. God gives us gifts, but we have to use them.
Imagine that a generous person in your life called with news of an incoming surprise. The eagerness in the conversation certainly piqued your interest in what such a gift might be. As you get together later that day, you are amazed at the sleek bicycle with the chic accessories. This person heard you say how you always wanted to attempt road biking, and out of generosity, you were now equipped and outfitted to hit the road.
What would your benefactor think if the bicycle remained in your house? You never used it. There were no signs of wear and tear because it never left your driveway.
You can’t become a cyclist if you fail to mount the saddle. The gift alone doesn’t take you places, and athletic equipment in your home doesn’t automatically get you in shape.
The gift is there, but your effort has to accompany it.
We often confuse our role in our own growth. Since Christ’s gift of salvation is free, we fail to understand that we must put some sweat into our personal discipleship.
To grow in Christ means we might have to engage in the process ourselves.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.Philippians 2:12-13
The gift is there; are your efforts?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.