Growth takes time

field of wheat

If you’re like me, you’ve undoubtedly been frustrated when you’ve not seen your growth in godliness proceed at a quick enough pace. It seems to take a long time to become Christlike, doesn’t it? Is there any way this can go faster?

According to J.C. Ryle, the answer is no:

Gradual growth in grace, growth in knowledge, growth in faith, growth in love, growth in holiness, growth in humility, growth in spiritual-mindedness—all this I see clearly taught and urged in Scripture, and clearly exemplified in the lives of many of God’s saints. But sudden, instantaneous leaps from conversion to consecration I fail to see in the Bible.[1. J. C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), xxiv.]

I think Ryle is bang-on here, because what he offers is a picture of maturity. He understood that becoming mature takes time, and it doesn’t happen uniformly. This is a point I have to remind myself of over and over again, especially when I’m getting frustrated with myself (and others). No matter how hard I try, growth takes time, and I can’t change how long it takes. But I can strive to appreciate where I am in the present, knowing that each day, by God’s grace, I am being remade in the image of his son.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.