If you are growing spiritually, you may certainly be reading the Bible, praying, “going to church” and other spiritual disciplines, but frankly, you can do all of those things and still
be a jerk not be growing spiritually. These things are all vitally important for spiritual growth, but they are not necessarily indicators of spiritual growth.
So what is an indicator? What results in a heart that is strong, blameless and holy?
“12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NLT (Emphasis added my me)
One way to know that you’re growing spiritually is when you see that the Lord is making your heart grow and overflow with love for the people in your church and for people everywhere.
Let me also put it this way: Whatever you are “full of,” you’ll overflow “with.”
If you’re full of arrogance, bitterness, anger or yourself, that’s what you will ultimately overflow with. When we are truly growing spiritually, we begin to overflow with love for others. This is because God Himself is overflowing with love for people and spiritual growth is about becoming more like Him.
God wants our lives to be full of Him, and He is love. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8 ESV)
Loving people does not mean loving and approving of the sin that they do. It means loving them in spite of it. It involves seeing them through God’s lens – to their potential as people created in the image of God.
So if you are “filled with the Spirit,” you will also be full of love. And if you are genuinely full of the knowledge of God and His word, you will also be full of love – Not sappy love, but strong love. If you’re full of something else, you’re not doing it right. 🙂
So what’s a way to know if you’re growing spiritually? It depends. What are you full of?
Side note: If you hate the idea of ending a sentence with a preposition, which I do all over this post, “that’s just the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put.” 🙂