stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

it’s up to you

There’s probably something you don’t know about me, and you probably can’t tell from looking. I’ve met with a personal trainer a few times. Surprised? You should be. Three different trainers from three different gyms. They all gave me advice on workouts I should be doing, foods I should be eating, and foods I should not be eating. I tried to follow their advice for probably a week, but I grew bored of being disciplined, and I missed my more lazy approach to things, so I went back to my old habits. I continued going to the gym, aimlessly doing this exercise or that one, not really following the prescribed plan, and ate whatever I wanted. Do you know how radically my life changed? It didn’t. I wish I could tell you that it’s the personal trainers’ fault. They didn’t teach me what I needed to know, which is obvious, because my life didn’t change. Right? We know that’s not true.

That’s how we treat church, though. If we’re not growing, who do we immediately point the finger at? The church we attend, maybe the pastors for what they’re preaching. I’ve been in ministry a long time now, so I’ve had the benefit of having this conversation with many people over the years. “We’re thinking about switching churches. We’re just not growing.” I always ask the same question in response. “How much time are you spending time with God during the week?” The answer is always about the same. “Well, not as much as I should,” or, “It’s been a while,” etc. You get the idea. I know this will be the answer, too, because it’s impossible to to not grow in your Christian walk if you are spending time with God. It’s impossible to grow in your Christian walk by just going to church, being inspired, and doing nothing with it. Your Christian walk – your spiritual growth – is yours to pursue and maintain. It’s not up to the church or the pastors. The best we can do is lead you to water. It’s up to you to drink.

Peter concludes 2 Peter in verses 17 and 18 with this: “I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.”

There’s a contrast. You can get carried away, you can be deceived, you can be stunted as a Christian. Or, you can grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s up to you. It’s your choice which you will be. He doesn’t “be grown in grace and the knowledge…” He’s not pinning that responsibility on anyone else – not your parents, not your pastors, not your small groups leaders, not your family, and not your friends. He’s not commanding you to be grown by someone else. He’s commanding you to take responsibility for your own growth, for you own spiritual walk. You grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus. You do it. At KCC, we hope to help and inspire as much as we can, but we can’t grow you. It’s up to you.

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