There are probably two things that can affect your personal growth. In the Bible it says quite honestly ‘Do two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?’ (Amos 3:3 NLT). Do you find yourself doing things that you are not happy doing? Just consider how your actions speak so much louder than your words. Remember what it says in Matthew 21: 28-32.
1) The relationships that you have with others can lift you, level you, or lower you. Recently in a UCB daily reading it told two short stories; In the first story it tells of a lady who wrote this letter to an advice columnist: ‘In my last year of school my English teacher took an essay I’d written and tore it apart in front of the class. I was humiliated – I felt dumb. That was years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.’ In a few short seconds the wrong person diminished this woman’s sense of self-worth for a lifetime. I am sure many of us look back to a time where someone’s cruel actions have hurt us for a long time; but on the counter-balance there are a many people who are for us and not against us. There are people all around us who seek the best for us and encourage us. We all have the choice – are you an encourager (Philemon 1:7 NIV) or a discourager?
2) The second thing that can affect your personal growth is your reflections. The second story in the daily readings tells of a Sunday school teacher who asked a little girl, ‘Who made you?’ she replied, ‘God made part of me.’ The teacher asked, ‘What do you mean?’ The little girl replied, ‘God made me little – and I growed the rest of myself.’ God holds us responsible for our personal growth. The Psalmist wrote, ‘I have more understanding than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes’ (Psalm 119:99 NIV). The word ‘meditate’ indicates ‘reflective thinking’ as a positive action. Like a slow cooker, meditation allows your thoughts to slowly simmer until they’re done. Most of us would rather act than think. But as Socrates observed, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Reflective thinking is uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. For instance, we have difficulty staying focused. We find the process dull, and we don’t particularly enjoy spending time reflecting on difficult issues. But if you don’t carve out time for reflection and meditation, you won’t mature. You won’t grow in the ‘grace and…knowledge’ you need to succeed.
Learn to take a little time to think about what you are doing. Rather than rushing straight in; take time to make a ‘good’ decision. It might not always be the same decision you would have made minutes earlier but at least you will know why you are doing something.