Nothing Beautiful Comes Easy

There are no shortcuts to success, no shortcuts to progress. I’ve learned that if you want to improve in any area of your life, there has to be a process. We have to pay attention to the small stuff and take it one step at a time.

If you want to get in shape physically or lose some weight, or both, you have to exercise regularly and eat healthy. Contrary to the promises made by miracle programs, machines, and drugs, there is no such thing as an instant healthy body.

The same is with improving our minds. There is no quick way to learn something. You can have a faked instant diploma, or have instant knowledge through reading, but the only time you know you have learned something is when you have applied it to your life over and over again.

It takes repetition, consistency, reinforcement, and practice. To grow in any area of life, you’ve got to do the little things over and over again.

As I always say, nothing beautiful comes easy.

This principle is especially true in our spiritual life. Yet people think that by praying once in a while (when they get in trouble), by going to church twice a year (every Christmas and Easter Sunday, of course), and by cracking open a Bible once in a blue moon, they will have spiritual growth.

Make no mistake about it. God won’t love us any more just because we do certain things. His love for us is always the highest love. But we will experience certain spiritual benefits if we pay attention to spiritual details. 

Like reading the Bible consistently. Or talking to God on a regular basis. Or helping others in need when the need is clear. We’re not talking about spiritual legalism. Paying attention to the details of your spiritual life is all about discipline.

There are two sides to spiritual growth: God’s part and our part. While God works IN us, we in turn work OUT. Yes, our salvation is a free gift from the Lord, but what do we do next after being saved? We must work out our salvation and grow spiritually.

God wants to develop our character more than anything else. Let’s stop thinking selfish self-serving thoughts that His number one priority in our lives is comfort and happiness. Those things come with the growth of our character. He wants us to develop into the character of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

God wants you to grow spiritually because when you do, your life becomes more meaningful and more satisfying. And even better than that, the people around you will experience the benefits of your growth.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” – Philippians 2:12-13