“Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, even Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One”
(EPHESIANS 4:15 AMP).
I READ THERE are a lot of people who really love their coffee . . . as pest control. No fooling. There are people using coffee to get rid of ants! As if that weren’t bizarre enough, I read about folks using coffee grounds as an exfoliator, a plant fertilizer, a furniture stain and a cellulite reducer. The most outlandish coffee use to me was—are you ready for this?—hair color! Wow, now next time I get my hair done, I officially don’t know how to answer if they ask me if I’d like coffee.
Coif-ee? I’m not sure who I would ask for that, my hairstylist or my barista.
I guess I should’ve seen it coming. I give my coffee a lot of attention. I give my hair a lot of attention. Maybe it was inevitable the two should somehow come together.
How Do You Take Your Do?
I’m still having a hard time imagining ordering my hairstyle by the cup. Not to mention, I usually take mine with cream and sugar. Highlights, maybe?
Some people pay close attention to the heat index during the summer. Not me. For me it’s all about the “hair” index. Last week the forecast called for several days that were partly frizzy with a chance of a ponytail.
In the winter it’s all about the wind chill. Or in hair-weather terms, wind “gel.” Too much superhero-strength hair gel in the extreme cold and a lock could snap off. I don’t mind attention to hair detail, but snapping to attention doesn’t sound healthy in this scenario. I don’t like risking my bangs.
It always bugs me that when I get my hair cut, I only seem to get about a day and a half of good bangs. The length of the bangs changes faster than the weather. It would take a genius to figure out how math and physics works out on this, but it’s true that good bangs on Tuesday are bangs that are too long on Wednesday. And those are also the same bangs that will be completely messed up for three weeks because you decided to cut them yourself on Thursday.
Just hope a groundhog doesn’t see you. If he sees you’ve cut them yourself again and you’ve done another shady job, it’s six more weeks of bad bangs. It’s painful to just sit at home, waiting for your hair to grow.
Waiting to Grow
Hair lengths will come and go. And come and grow. But on the spiritual side, we need to always be in growth mode. No waiting. Growing in our walk of faith means staying alert to making the Word of God part of each day, staying plugged into a good church, feeding our minds with uplifting music and sermons and staying closely connected with followers who are good examples of godliness. Those things are vital. But listen, you may be doing all of those things and still not growing spiritually. The fact that your knowledge is increasing is good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your faith is increasing or you’re growing in the things of God. If you’re not growing closer to the Father by allowing His Word to change you and by allowing Him to work through your life, then a major element of spiritual growth is missing.
Spiritual growth is about more than gathering a lot of knowledge about the things of God. It’s more than just rituals too. Growth happens as we do what He calls us to do—and it’s about becoming more in tune with what His calling is. It happens as we experience true worship. And it happens as we allow Him to work in our lives to the point that we see Him using us to help someone else grow as well.
I love how He so often grows us so that we can touch the life of another. You’ll know you’re maturing in the faith when you see the truth you receive from God fleshed out in your life in how you follow Him, how you love Him, how you serve Him, and how you share Him. Your life with Him should be warm and personal and that should show up in everything you do.
Paul said, “God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all,” (Romans 15:4–5 The Message).
Your salvation came power-packed with purpose. You’re growing as you embrace that purpose, walking in faith as you glorify His name by loving Him and loving others. There are hurting people in this world who desperately need to see your faith-walk, to understand the glory of His name, and to experience the love of the Father.
The growth that you long to see happen in your life? Your heavenly Father wants it too. That’s where the power comes in. Paul said in Philippians 1:6 (AMP),
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, right up to the time of His return, developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
All He needs is your willingness and He will keep up the sanctifying work that began at your salvation. He can use you to show His glory and to touch the lives of others with that glory.
Coffee gets my attention. Hair gets my attention. Staying alert to my spiritual growth? That gets my attention on an entirely different level. Attention to the max. Not just looking like a spiritual person, but energetically putting heart and soul into letting my relationship with the God of the universe change my world. Paul charged us to “never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Romans 12:11 NLT).
That inspires me, motivates me, energizes me—gets me oh so very excited!
And I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking but, no, for my next hair color I’m not necessarily planning to go decaf.
STAYING AWAKE IN HIS WORD
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. — 2 TIMOTHY 1:6–10
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