By John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Growth is essential in life. Growth involves knowing how to handle success and failure because success or failure can either negate or fuel growth.
We sometimes get into a situation where we think that we can’t go forward. When this happens, it’s a good idea to stop and see if we are facing in the wrong direction! Remember, God judges a man not by the point he has reached but by the way he is facing. God doesn’t judge by distance but by direction.
Growth requires taking a risk in the forward direction. Someone has said you can approach life in two ways – protect it or pursue it. When the voice of safety says, “Build a fire in the hearth and stay in where it is warm,” the voice of growth says, “Build a fire in your soul, then go out and pursue your vision with a passion.”
C.S. Lewis wrote, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird – it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” Life really has two options – grow or die. What is your GQ?
A man went back to his alma mater for his 50th anniversary of his graduation. He had accomplished many things in his life as a physician. He served as a surgeon in a large hospital, he was decorated as a military hero in World War II, and he was an accomplished bicyclist, a devoted husband, father and grandfather. When he went to his school, the old graduate was interviewed by a student reporter who asked, “What is the most important thing you learned in college?” Without hesitation, he replied, “How to go on learning for the rest of my life.”
Life is a process of learning and growing. Oliver Wendell Holmes was studying Greek at age 94. When somebody asked him why he was studying Greek at that age, he replied, “My good sir, it’s now or never!” I heard a good friend often say, “What matters most is not the years in your life – but the life in your years.” (Tweet this)
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived out this concept. When he was way up in years, his hair was white as snow. A friend asked him how he sustained his vigor and zest for life. This person wanted to know how he could keep on writing so beautifully.
Longfellow pointed to a blossom on an apple tree and said, “That tree is very old, but I never saw prettier blossoms on it than those which it now bears. That tree grows new wood each year. Like that apple tree, I try to grow a little new wood each year.”
How much new wood are you growing this year?
The Bible says, “We grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s plan for our lives” (2 Pet. 3:18). “We are to grow up into Him” (Eph. 4:15). “You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you” (Col. 3:10).
I believe God tells us like He told Israel – “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room . . . Don’t be afraid – you’re not going to be embarrassed. Don’t hold back – you’re not going to come up short” (Isaiah 54:2-3 MSG). Don’t get discouraged when you don’t have immediate growth in every situation. Growth isn’t always consistent, but it must be evident in measurable increments.
What is your GQ – Growth Quotient?
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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