Thursday, March 17, 2011

Teachers and friends that encourage our growth

Growing in obedience to the Lord is essential for all of us. And one necessary thing for growth is a balanced spiritual diet. We need to hear all of God's counsel in order to reach full maturity. But, without even being aware of it, we can find ourselves in a place where we are not hearing all of God's Word.

All of us need encouragement. And it is natural to gravitate towards those who encourage us. This is good. But while we obtain one thing necessary for growth we must be careful not to neglect other areas. One of those areas is our need to be told to turn from our various sins. We need  Pastors and Christian friends in our lives that won't shy away from telling us to repent.

We may have a steady diet of dynamic teachers with wonderful gifts of encouragement. But some of these teachers rarely or never speak about our need to repent. Teaching that does not incorporate turning from sin lacks spiritual nutrition. So we must examine the sources of spiritual teaching and determine if we are being fed a well balanced diet.

Here is a way to determine if you are lacking spiritual nutrition in this specific area. Take  a pen and paper with you when you listen to your favorite teachers. Week after week write down how often did the teacher talk about turning away from sin. If you find that your teacher rarely or never speaks about sin then your spiritual diet is lacking. And you'll need to do one of two things in order to correct your diet. You may need to either get your teaching elsewhere or you may need to supplement your current teaching with other well balanced teaching. Ask God to guide you in your unique situation.

The same applies to friends. Make sure that you have at least one friend who is willing to confront you when you are sinning. Being confronted may not always be comfortable. This type of friend can prevent us from straying. And if we have already sinned they can help restore us.

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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