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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 07/10/19

Growth Track

To live well I must learn well. To learn well I must learn often.

STORY: Reading, Writing, and Wisdom

When we think of learning, we often think of going to school. I just came from a trip to New York, where the students didn’t get out of school for the summer until the third week of June. And I came back to Texas, where school supplies are already for sale in the stores, so we can start back to school in August.

As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get the class list of school supplies so we could go shopping. Even as a grown up, I get giddy when I see aisles of school supplies. The rest of the year, I get that same fix by going to office supply stores and browsing. Just this week I ordered a backpack and can’t wait for it to come in. I guess you could say I’m a lifelong student.

Book smarts are good, but a different kind of education is even more important. In this installment of Grin & Grow, we’re going to explore how to grow in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and insight.

STUDY: Growth is Lived-Out Learning

Knowledge

"The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger." (Proverbs 24:5 NLT)

  • The definition of knowledge is: The collection of information and facts acquired through education or experience. 
  • According to this passage, how can we grow stronger, and keep growing stronger?

"I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:17-18 NLT)

  • When we’ve learned what we need to know, it’s up to us to use that information to grow mature and stay safe.
  • Instead of losing our secure footing by listening to the wrong voices, how are we to grow?
  • How is Jesus glorified when we grow this way?

"May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord." (2 Peter 1:2 NLT)

  • Which comes first: 1) growing in the knowledge of God and Jesus as Lord, and then we are given more grace and peace, 2) or does God give us grace and peace, which leads to growing in knowledge? (No wrong answer.)
  • The phrase “more and more” and the word “grow” both imply an adding to, a building up, an expansion of what is being grown. There’s always room for growth in the maturity process.

Wisdom

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." (Psalm 90:12 NLT)

  • Why do you think we grow in wisdom when we realize how short life on earth is?
  • What happens when we make choices based on thinking we will live a long life?

"Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!" (Psalm 111:10 NLT)

  • First, let’s define wisdom. It is: Having good judgment based on knowledge. The ability to discern. Wisdom chooses whether or not to act on what we know.
  • What is the foundation (basis) for true wisdom? We can assume all other foundations lead to incomplete or false wisdom.
  • One benefit of obeying God’s commands is growing in wisdom. Why do you think that is?
  • It might seem unusual to have two sentences discuss wisdom and then the next be a verse praising God, but if you’ve ever lacked wisdom, you know how praiseworthy it is for God to give it to you!

Understanding

"If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding." (Proverbs 15:32 NLT)

  • The definition of understanding is: Comprehending what we know and being able to make wise choices with that knowledge. We develop understanding when we put our beliefs (knowledge and wisdom) into practice.
  • No one likes to receive discipline or correction. What happens when we turn away from it, though?
  • What happens if we pay attention when God corrects us?
  • The implied factor in this concept is that we not only listen to correction, but we have the understanding to go ahead and make the suggested change in our lives.

"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding." (Philippians 1:9 NLT)

  • It’s possible the first part of this verse and the second are two separate concepts. But let’s assume the second phrase flows in correlation to the first. If that is so, what does overflowing love have to do with the ability to grow in knowledge and understanding?
  • Can you give an example of having a lightbulb moment after allowing your love to overflow onto others?

Insight

"Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God." (Ephesians 1:17 NLT)

  • The definition of insight: The capacity to gain discernment. The ability to make your knowledge, wisdom, and understanding combine into a consistent faith walk.
  • Who would you like to pray for, using this verse? We also have an Advocate praying this for us to the Father.
  • This passage mentions spiritual wisdom and insight. How does that differ from other kinds of wisdom/insight? Look to the rest of the verse for the answer.

STEPS: Building Block Growth

  1. Grow in knowledge. Spend time and effort being a student of truth.
  2. Grow in wisdom. Use your knowledge to distinguish what is a wise choice.
  3. Grow in understanding. Put into action what you have gained through knowledge and wisdom.
  4. Grow in insight. Become consistent in spiritual growth.

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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