The Good Soil

Spiritual growth is augmented and enhanced by several factors:

Social environment – a positive, healthy and emotionally stable family where the mother and father are committed to each other, love each other and are wise with finances, parenting and their children’s future: this is the best environment for the steady growth of children.

Inherited temperament and tendencies – our emotional and mental temperament influences our receptivity to spiritual truth and values. Your inherited character traits affect how you react to life’s problems. Many weaknesses inherited from our families may need to be overcome to make a better foundation for spiritual life.

Physical health – it is difficult to pursue God, experience life and interact with society if we are unwell, unhealthy and psychologically stressed or unbalanced. You will observe that strong, flourishing believers are almost invariably healthy people who take care of themselves and their bodies.

Habits of attitude and activity – the way we meet challenges and opportunity for progress influences us greatly in our spiritual growth. We habitually fall into ways of dealing with people, work, family, stress and the challenges of life. For some, every obstacle or challenge in life is a crisis which they meet with panic, fear, anxiety and emotional breakdown. For others, the challenges of life are cause for contemplation, communion with God for wisdom and insight, and even an aggressive zeal at the prospect of a difficult, challenging task.

Sharing life with fellows. Many believers do not share their experiences with their brothers and sisters. They withdraw under fire and isolate themselves. Some choose to put on a false front to maintain an air of righteousness or having it all together. Others gladly open up and share their victories and defeats with their fellows. This greatly adds meaning and relieves tension and emotional stress. The moral support of our brothers and sisters is a great strength.

Communion with the Father – seeking God on a daily basis for direction and guidance is essential to advanced progress.

Continually bearing fruit. Serving others on a daily basis without complaint; being a cheerful giver and deciding on this day whom we will serve.

Recognizing we are poor in spirit and maintaining a hunger for righteousness and perfection. Relative to God who is an eternal, infinite perfect being we are in pretty poor shape. Comparing our life to that of Joshua can be a humbling look in the mirror. We need to see this as a motivating aid in our pursuit of God and not a depressing self-abasement.

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