What can I do to grow?


How should I be confessing Jesus with my mouth? What kind of works can I do to please God? Right now, I feel like the guy who is given one talent in the parable of the talents. What can I do to increase that what God has given me? I was baptized last year, and I still haven't really found my place in God's world. Do you know what I mean?


Your question is common among new Christians. We live in a society that often expects near-instant results. We forget that many good things take time to develop. I was just talking this morning with a young man as we were finishing up a study on the Song of Solomon. The story takes place from courtship to old age and I asked when did Solomon and wife really obtain love? The answer was not until they were older. All through the story, she warned about not rushing love, that it had to develop at its own pace. Only at the end does she say she had awakened love. We date and marry while love is still developing. True love takes time to grow.

The life of a Christian is much the same way. Some try to rush their growth and as a result burn themselves out because they don't pace themselves in taking a life-long growth toward being like Christ. Don't make the mistake of comparing yourself with people who have been Christians for 30 years and wondering why you aren't like them -- grow to be like them but expect it to take you 30 years also to reach their level of maturity.

Each of us has different talents that can be put to use for the Lord. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:5-8). No talent is useless and no member is worth less than another.

At this stage in your growth, try different things. Some will suit you well, others will just not be your thing, and still others might be interesting if you get more growth under your belt. Since I don't know much about you, I can't give you specifics, but if you are interested in leading others to Christ, then spend an hour each week working on it. Pass out Bibles stuffed with information on a busy street, just asking people if they would be interested in a free Bible. If they are, ask them if they would be interested in studying the Bible, just one time for one hour. Or if Bibles are too expensive, try finding a flier on some topic and ask people if they would be interested in reading about the topic. The goal is to find the few people who are interested in talking about God.

Make sure when you are doing this that you rope at least one other Christian to work with you. There are very good reasons why Jesus sent out the 12 and 70 by twos. Always have someone with you when you study.

At first, when you talk to people you are going to feel that you don't know enough. And it is likely to be true. But learn where the gaps are in your knowledge and start filling them in. You'll find your personal study improving as you have targeted needs to deal with the questions and comments that come up both on the street and in studies.

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