Growing Pains

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure mild of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”  1 Peter 2.1-3


Is our desire really to grow?

I spend a lot of time burping babies at home…but when I come to church I spend a lot of time burping spiritual babies too.  It’s time for Christians to graduate from babyhood to adulthood in  Jesus!  I learned years ago that not everybody that grows old, grows up!  And that’s not only true emotionally, it’s true spiritually!

So what’s involved in our growing up spiritually?


Peter says that there are some things that need to be removed and left behind in order for you to spiritually grow up.

And until we’re willing to remove them, it doesn’t matter how many sermons we hear preached or how many verses in the Bible we memorize .. we won’t spiritually grow up.

Malice is an unforgiving spirit.  Deceit speaks of getting even with somebody who has wronged you. Hypocrites never grow up spiritually, because they are hypocrites.  Acting on the outside what you aren’t on the inside.


Most of us are not nearly as spiritual and wonderful as we pretend to be on the outside.  We’ve got to lay aside our hypocrisy if we’re ever going to grow up spiritually.
Envy is resenting somebody who has something good happen to them.  And Evil speaking is the result of being envious.

We’ve have been born again to GROW!  And in order to grow up spiritually .. there are some things we must lay aside, but if we don’t … we won’t!


Just as there must be some laying aside of some things … there must also be some things that produce GROWTH that we need to pursue.  In other words .. it’s not enough to simply lay aside these things.

YOU WILL NOT GROW APART FROM THE WORD OF GOD.  Suppose you walk up to me and said, “Jonah, I’m so weak, I don’t have any strength and can hardly walk”  And I asked, “Are you eating right?”  And you said, “No, I eat just a little one morning a week.  I wonder what’s wrong with me?”

If we are going to GROW, we have to FEED on the Word of God!

God’s placed within every baby the desire for milk.  When my children were born, the only desire they had was for milk in order to grow.  God placed that desire in them just as He has placed within those of us who have been born again to desire the pure milk of the word.

Be intentional and plan out your priorities. Set a time!  Decide on a place!  And once it gets into you, it will then come out of you giving you the nutrition and wisdom and strength you need to grow up and to stand firm.


Since we’ve experienced God’s graciousness, forgiveness, hope, inheritance, and have been born again to love one another, Peter says that should prompt us to grow.

We have tasted (come to experience) that the Lord is gracious.  The Psalmists says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.”

As we grow, we will be better equipped to lead our groups and lead them grow as well.

No Regrets

In considering the direction of my life, I know what God has called me to do above all else….love God and love people.  Through that calling, there are some things in my life that have had a significant impact on the person that I am today.  God has rocked my world and molded me through generosity, community, my family, my past experiences both in America and in China, and my personal leadership journey.
If we want to live a life of NO REGRETS, we are going to have to be intentional about what we do and don’t do.  Here is my list of creating that life.

Be Generous
Give your time, talents, and treasures. Nobody regrets being generous. Even when your generosity isn’t well received, thanked, or noticed the act of generosity changes you as much as it changes others.

Join a small group
You will have less “free” time in your life, more burdens to bear, more mess to wade through, and more people to pray for. Life will be tougher. But you won’t regret joining a small group, because you’ll have people to journey through life with.

Recognize that laughter is a gift from God. You’ll grow more spiritually with a group of people that you enjoy being around than ones you dread meeting with.

Spend time with your family
Your family will never say they wish that you’d spent less time with them. Time with your family is not time wasted.

Drink good coffee
Life is too short for bad coffee. And when you have people over to your house, serve the good stuff! All coffee is not created equal.

Make church a priority
No church is perfect, but being where God’s people gather to worship and celebrate the work of God is healing and life-giving.

Become a leader
Wherever you are in life, leadership is playing a significant role. Continually focus on your personal leadership development.

Go on mission trips
My life was turned upside down (in a good way) through mission trips. Whether you go on a trip out of your country or across state lines, you won’t regret the time away from work or the money it cost you to get there.

Invest in kids
When you invest in kids, you are investing in the life of the Church. For today and tomorrow.