“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” [2 Peter 3:18]
Many years ago after being in the U.S. for six years I returned to England with our son for a visit with family. I remember the one thing that impressed my son was the fact everything was smaller in my homeland and our son began to remark—everything is bigger and better in America!
Humorous at the time, but as years have gone by I’ve realized how simple statements hold hidden truths. The thought that ‘bigger is better’ is of course a deception and has pushed many people to scramble up what they thought to be the ladder of success only to find the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.
In the Christian world we strive for bigger churches or ministries until the heart of one-on-one discipleship has lost its true meaning. Cyberspace has given us unlimited outreach, a God given gift and potential for world evangelism. However, may we not forget that discipleship is a relationship that is up-close and personal.
The writer of Hebrews teaches that without discipline there can be no real growth or development. Without personal growth, professional growth is empty, powerless and cold. This could describe many corporations and businesses, but also rings true in Churches and ministries.
Discipline comes with the pruning process, pruning allows roots to grow more deeply and bear fruit rich in nutriment. Through pruning, purity is reached and power is released. It has been said that many churches, ministries and corporations are an inch deep and a mile wide. Such places provide nesting places for all manner of immorality and corruption. Personal growth requires time, truth and the testing of pruning shears on the inner man. Discipline produces discipleship that reflects Christ and will last forever.
Further Reading: Job 36:10-12; John 15:1-8; Matthew 21:12-14; Hebrews 12:3-11