But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
– 2 Pet. 3:18
When we are under pressure – unusual circumstances, health crisis, family issues, economic stress – there may be some temptation to postpone spiritual growth, until things get better.
Our thinking may run rapidly through thoughts like this: Life is so hard right now; my concentration is broken; I’m exhausted. I’ll get back into spiritual growth when things calm down.
Here are some elements of this ill-conceived notion.
1. Understand, to not grow equals decline. There is no neutral position. This may sound strong but there is scriptural justification to say, the moment I stop growing I start dying. To go back to “milk” is “back,” backward (see Heb. 5:12-14). The whole notion is self-deceptive. It is neglected discipleship.
2. It is vigorous spiritual growth that brings God’s strength into our lives. To put a pause on spiritual growth not only reduces your capacity to cope with difficulty. It amounts to turning away from the ultimate source of strength that gets us through whatever is or is perceived to be our present difficulty.
3. Read 2 Peter 1:3-15, then ask yourself: What part of this can I suspend or pause? Is there anything in this passage that you can safely neglect, offering your stress as the excuse? Can you postpone self-control for a while, thinking you will resume that discipline when things calm down?
4. To pause spiritual growth is just irresponsible, since the command is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter wrote that in our text. He was under pressure and he was writing to Christians who were undergoing a tough time of it: “tested by fire,” (1 Pet. 1:7). Growth is not only honoring the Lord and essential to our survival, it is duty assigned to God’s people. Not something reserved for “normal days.”
Do these things and the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:9