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Berni - ceo, Christianityworks

Growing Pains

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his followers, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me.

What would be really neat, is if we could go through life without suffering. Now, we know that that’s completely unrealistic, but that’s still what we hope for. And we can become so pain averse, that it ends up stunting our growth.

Growing up can be a painful process. Who doesn’t remember as a teenager feeling that “No one understands me”? Yep, that journey from immaturity to maturity involves pain; “growing pains” as we like to call them.

But sadly, some people never grow up because they’re not willing to suffer the pain. There’s a bit of that in each one of us. We want to hang on to some of our immaturity, some of our selfishness, some of our childish ways. Why? Just because.

When you think about it, growing from immaturity into maturity is all about moving from selfishness to selflessness. And that involves some hard lessons along the way. A teenager can be the most selfish thing he or she wants to be. But when they grow up, have to find a job, get married and bring children into this world, that all changes. It has to.

Letting go of self, letting go of this worldview that “I am at the centre of the universe”, that “It’s all about me and how I feel” … that hurts. There’s no other way of putting it. In fact, this is how Jesus put it:

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his followers, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me.

That’s an intensely brutal picture, that picture of the cross.

So the next time the going gets tough following along behind Jesus, remember, growing up hurts. Just keep going.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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