At the beginning of Chapter 28 (“It Takes Time”) of The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren notes that while we’re concerned about how fast we grow spiritually, God is concerned with how strong we grow. Jesus chooses to develop us slowly, preferring to work in incremental steps in our lives. Rick offers 5 reasons why it takes so long for us to change and grow up (Rick’s reasons are in bold type):
1. We are slow learners. Just like the Israelites in the wilderness, we quickly forget God’s lessons and revert to our old, entrenched behavior patterns.
2. We have a lot to unlearn. Since the majority of our problems and all of our bad habits have developed over our lifetime, “putting on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24) doesn’t happen overnight either.
3. We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves. Even though the truth will set us free (John 8:32), it often makes us miserable at first. We fear what we might discover if we honestly face our character deficits. We only can grow with a humble, teachable attitude.
4. Growth is often painful and scary. Rick states: “There is not growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain.” Even if we’re losing self-defeating habits, it’s hard to let go because they’re comfortable and familiar- the core traits of our identity.
5. Habits take time to develop. Habits take practice. A magic wand won’t help!
Tomorrow’s blog: “Growing in Spiritual Maturity”