Article from the Jasper Journal 2nd Quarter 2019
Written by: Carrie-Ann Jasper-Yearty
Each year, to help provide direction for the upcoming year, we pray about and reflect on what God is doing in our company and among our people. In 2018, we were excited to share the hope we have in Jesus. As we look around us, we see how the world lacks hope. But as we grow in the hope of Jesus Christ, we see hope powerfully shining in places of even the greatest darkness. We are so grateful for this hope – hope for the future that we will be redeemed, hope for the present that we are loved and have a purpose, and hope for the past that we are not defined by our mistakes because of God’s forgiveness and grace.
For 2019, we have prayerfully chosen to focus on how we grow. Last year we spent time discussing our charge as leaders – to see people for what they could be and raise them up to their God-given potential. As leaders we want to intentionally think about the growth of our employees. But each of us also has a responsibility to take an active role in our own personal growth.
If you have ever had a garden or done any farming, you know that growth doesn’t just happen; it takes planning, hard work, and determination. So how do we grow as people? We must aspire to grow, work wholeheartedly to grow, and be persistent in growing. Benjamin Franklin said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
There are many ways we can choose to grow, but I would like to share a model for growing like Jesus. Luke wrote, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
Growing in Wisdom
We acquire knowledge, we learn from experiences, and we gain understanding. In his book Grow Like Jesus, Stephen Caldwell defines growing in wisdom as, “Knowledge and insight from God that benefits you and others and brings glory to God.” Each of us is gifted 1,440 minutes each day and within each day we are given ample opportunities to learn and grow.
Some ways you can grow in wisdom include being open to coaching from your manager, taking a class to learn a new skill, or listening to a relevant podcast on the way to and from work.
Growing in Stature
The English word stature has two meanings. One involves the physical: build, height, and size. The other is about relevance within a group: standing, importance, and reputation. In this verse, “stature” refers to changing physically. We are each given one earthly body, and we are called to care for it so that we can do the work the Lord has called us to do.
To grow in stature, we can begin a healthy habit, like drinking more water or exercising. Or stop a harmful habit that is negatively impacting our health.
Growing in Favor with God
Our most important relationship is the one we have with God, our Father. The best way to grow in this relationship is by spending time with Him, getting to know Him through scripture and prayer, listening to Him, and allowing the Spirit to lead us. God shows favor to those who desire to know Him better. Isaiah 66:2 says, “ These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
Find time each day to get alone and spend time in the Word and ask God to reveal to you what He wants to show you through scripture. The YouVersion Bible app has several daily Bible reading plans if you are not sure where to start.
Growing in Favor with People
Our lives are meant to be shared with others. In our February Refuel + Refocus, Johnny Russell shared with us about love. He said love is spelled T-I-M-E. Much like spending time with God, the best way to grow in our relationships with others is by spending time together. We are to “do life” in community with one another.
We have our own community right here at work. We are called to be engaged with and walk alongside one another, to encourage and support those around us, and to lift one another up in prayer. In The Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling writes, “Each of us has been planted in particular places among particular people whom we might bless and benefit by sharing something good we are receiving from God’s good kingdom.”
Look around and determine who God has placed in your life and with whom you need to spend more time, then make a plan to connect with that person today. And consider these questions as you evaluate and purposefully plan for your own growth in the coming months:
- In what ways would you like to grow this year?
- What work needs to be done to ensure this growth?
- How can we encourage and support you in this growth?
- How can we pray for you as you grow?
You may send responses to [email protected]
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