Why Grow Up?

I wrote this post originally for the Weekly Evo at www.whillschurch.org.

This Sunday night we will gather our leaders together for our Winter Confab. It’s a pause for our leaders to sit around the table and be fed – physically and spiritually. It’s a chance for us to hear other God stories from those we serve alongside.

For our Winter Confab we are talking the issue of personal spiritual growth. Before we tackle the how, we are going to explore the “why” question – why grow up? Why grow spiritually? I turned to Google to help me with my quest for answers. This was the screen I got. What do you notice?

I noticed that too. Apparently, we have an infinite number of resources to tell us how but next to none that answer the why. I found one site that answered this question with “Because it fulfills the will of God.” In other words, “because I said so.”

I hate that answer. I hated it as a kid. I hate it as an adult. I don’t hate because it’s incorrect. I hate it because it’s incomplete. It’s a lazy answer. I know I’m tired and lazy as a parent when I resort to this answer with my own kids. It’s not helpful. I’m curious by nature so I need to know the why. If I don’t know the why – I’m just as likely to quit the whole thing and find something else to do. WHY is an important question.

But it’s not the most important question.

We have a rule in the English house – our kids can only ask the question WHY AFTER they have obeyed or said – “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am.” Why? I’m not answering that question until I have confirmation that they have heard me and will obey me.

Obedience is more important than WHY. Sometimes by obeying the WHY is answered for them. Sometimes it’s more important to trust me than themselves. After obedience, it’s easier to answer the WHY because I now know the condition of their heart.

Before obedience, WHY is not a question. It’s an excuse. It’s a stall tactic. It’s self-importance cloaked in a question mark. It’s disobedience. Before obedience, WHY is next to impossible to talk about it because it’s not an exploration at that point, it’s an argument. A persuasion.

After obedience, WHY is an enlightened conversation of the journey. It’s a perspective change. A realization.

And that’s what we will do this coming Sunday evening. Come join us if you can.

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4 thoughts on “Why Grow Up?

  1. “Why?” is what I think is so prevalent in our worship centers also. It’s the stand back, see if it will help me attitude that comes from a habit of seeking tradition rather than seeking Jesus.

    It’s like the rich young man of scripture didn’t even ask “why”….he just walked away knowing that he didn’t have a good answer.

    I think you’ve really hit on a possible key discipline of “why” and “how” being follow-up discussions to obedience. I’ve been wresting with the times that I don’t “hear from God” or “feel his will”. Maybe the first step to that is pure obedience…and we find the basics of that already written in the Red Letters.

    I had a Navigator friend of mine say last week that he read where spiritual growth happens 7 times faster in small one-on-one relationships or small groups than in the big church meeting. Heb. 10:24-25 may take on a different slant if we think of meeting together as a different thing than corporate worship….then the obedience is better challenged by those that we looks straight in the eye where they ask….”how are you doing at following The Master?”

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    1. I’m finishing up part two to this post right now and this is exactly where I am going with it … the concept that “don’t forsake the gathering together” may have more to do with smaller contexts than larger ones.

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  2. Here’s a thought for you as I’ve been doing some writing for a book project this morning….I had a “fog-lifting” moment I think.

    When we simply “add to” our belief system with obedience, there is a risk that it will not only be seen as, but we feel it as, legalism and works. There is a step between belief and obedience…it’s where Jesus asks us to pick up our cross daily. For obedience to be a fruit of faith, we must first kill some things inside ourselves. When we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Gal.2:20), then we can be obedient without the weight of legalism…

    still working thru this…

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