What do you want to be when you grow up?
You were probably asked this question quite a bit when you were a child. As a kid, I remember daydreaming about one day being a policeman or a fireman, or a variety of other things, depending on the latest television show I had seen. I wanted to “be something” I perceived as special and cool, when I finally “grew up.”
The reality is, growing up should never stop in our lives. Even as adults, growth is essential to an effective life. And I believe that God continues to ask us the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
For most adults, this question no longer carries with it consideration of the professional or occupational aspects of life. These choices have long been settled. Yet God keeps asking about where we are heading in life. He inquires about the vision we have for our life. He asks us to think about what we want to become spiritually, as we move into the days ahead. He challenges us to think about the direction we are taking in our character development and in our contribution to His Kingdom cause.
This question is designed by God to keep us from falling prey to something that traps and caps so many people — comfort and complacency. He is reminding us that there is more He wants to do in and through us. And for this “more” to be realized, more “growing up” has to happen. He wants us to capture the dream of lifelong growth.
The Apostle Paul lived with this kind of focus. From his writings, it’s clear that he was always thinking about what he wanted to become in God. He never settled for comfort and complacency in his spiritual life. He was always going after more. He wanted to continue the process of “growing up.”
Take a look at Paul’s passion for spiritual growth and maturity:
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” — Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT)
How about us? How do we model this kind of passion? What do we learn from Paul about pursuing growth? What are some of the characteristics of people who go for growth? What are some of the qualities of folks who are committed to continually “growing up?”
Here are a few to think about. People who grow:
- Understand that all it takes to start dying is to stop growing.
- Have a healthy fear of comfort and complacency.
- Accept responsibility for personal growth rather than blaming a lack of growth on situations and limitations.
- Challenge and stretch themselves in loving, serving and giving.
- Are aware of areas in their life where growth is needed.
- Proactively pursue the wisdom and help needed to grow.
- Have a positive and clear vision of the kind of person they want to become and the level of Kingdom contribution they want to make.
- Are willing to do the work that growing up requires.
What kind of person do you want to be in the days to come? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Make the commitments and take the steps today that will help you become who and what you want to be tomorrow!