Inviting Others to Shape My Growth
May I humbly receive the wisdom of
those who offer it in love.
I am not fully myself without the way
they see me and know me.
Colossians 2:6-7 “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” NASB
When we began the new year and I sensed the Lord leading us to spend some time in Colossians to reflect on “How People Grow,” little did I know so much turmoil would unfold on January 6 in our nation’s capitol and the ensuing heartache of continuing to see our nation and American churches so divided. I have been driven to prayer even more as I navigate leading our church family in these difficult days. I know many of you are joining in me in praying for peace, order, truth and justice to be made known in the name of Jesus.
Artist Scott Erickson is known for his creativity in taking biblical themes and prayers and turning them into images that invite you to connect with God. At the beginning of the year, I was praying the Lord’s Prayer and found the image above with this accompanying prayerful caption. The image of an old VW Bug with people underneath helped me embrace the idea that it will be a wise choice to allow God to shape me by using others to do the work of helping me grow into Christ’s likeness.
Colossians 2:6-7 uses the language of growth as a journey (walk), a plant (rooted) and a building (built). I’d like to imagine these same four people who are helping repair the car in the image (my life) going on a walk with me through this journey of life. I’d like to imagine these folks watering, pruning, and caring for the person I’m growing into in Christ. I’d like to imagine these folks helping to build me up as someone who longs to be built on the solid rock of obeying Christ.
As I commit to inviting the wise, loving and faithful voices into my life, I am reminded that these are people who may look different than me. They may come from different backgrounds or even Christian traditions. They may have vastly different personalities than me. They may have even voted for a different candidate than me!
I want to invite the Lord to grow me this year as I humbly receive wisdom from these fellow travelers, growers and builders—men and women whom God has brought into my life to help me look more like him.
LIVING INTO GOD’S WORD
If you had to put names on the people in the image, whom would you recognize as God’s agent of growth and change for your life? Can you identity some voices (perhaps different from you in a significant way) that God might be using to search and stretch you as well as encourage and support you? Reach out to these folks this week and tell them how God is growing you through their presence in your life.
God, you are the author of my growth and I thank you for not giving up on me. Help me to recognize those you have placed in my life to help me grow and show me if I’m resistant to being stretched in any way. May I be open to humbly receiving wisdom from a believer who is quite different from me and may you be glorified in our unity around you, King Jesus. Amen.