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Monday, May 30, 2016

Stop,Look Back, Breathe & Say Thank God

One of my friends hit me up randomly today to pay me a compliment.Knowing the kind of person he is, flattery isn't really one of his forte so I didn't take it as that. I was curious to know what prompted him to voice his observation and I would soon spend the next 40 minutes telling him why I wouldn't accept the compliment. Don't get me wrong, I am not always the type that doesn't know how to take

 compliments. In fact, when I have a new hairdo that goes unnoticed by my friends, I'll be the one to ask: "Do you like my hair ?",just because lol. However, this wasn't a compliment about my hair or my outfit, it was something more personal and that struck the inquisitiveness in me. I wanted to know what he saw that made him give those observations about me and while I could have just said thank you, I told him I was still so much of a work in progress that taking that compliment might seem like fraud (not in those exact terms but you know, wordplay ;))

Not long after, I was talking to another friend and my attention was called to the fact that I had mentioned the fact that I was "growing" all through the conversation. Then it struck me, I have been craving personal growth a lot lately like a baby craves milk and shoving it down everyone's throat wasn't necessarily the way to go either. And I don't say this to mean a bad thing but you'll see where I'm going with this pretty soon.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love ( 2 Peter 1: 5-7).
 When I read this Bible verse , two words come to mind: complacency and growth. I have realized how easy it is to switch between these two things and I'm pretty sure Peter gave this advice to encourage us to chase after the latter as much we can. We should always seek to grow in every area of our lives most especially in the things that we value the most which from the core of our existence. For me, my faith is that thing and because I know how fast it is to become complacent even with the things you love, I constantly ask God to help fuel the fire in me to keep burning for Him.

However, like everything we do, growth needs balance. The ability to stop, breathe, look back and see how far God has brought us in our journey. The ability to accept every single part of the growth journey while taking it one day at a time. I am guilty of chasing after growth without adding that balance and I must say it is a very dangerous thing to do. You become so consumed by the need to keep growing that you don't stop to appreciate your current season. Sometimes it is so bad for me that when someone points out an area I need to work on, I immediately start to burden my spirit to "fix"it.

Growth is a beautiful thing but a beautiful pain most times. Sometimes it is in life's most difficult situations that we learn to grow. However, I have come to learn that the most significant part is that process. It is during that process that we truly learn the meaning of grace, it is in those moments that what we have heard or been told about God becomes a reality. It is always the process that opens us up to how deeply we need God and we will never get to experience all of these if we make it a chore, or even worse, a destination. To God, the most important thing is always who we are becoming and how life's experiences mold us into who he intends us to be. So stop, look back, breathe and say thank you God for how far you've brought me.

My point from my preamble about finding it hard to receive the compliments was my failure to enjoy the process of growth rather than beat myself up for what I was yet to achieve. We serve a God so wonderful that He takes His time in making sure that we well refined in the fire that we may live according to his purpose for us ( 1 Peter 1:7)
I hope and pray for the grace to find that balance between craving growth and enjoying the process.

P.S. You'd think my growth cravings would make me immune to complacency? NOPE. In fact, I feel like I am constantly dangling between two extremes. God help us all.

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