As we approach the end of the semester, Dr. T (Tony Foster) recently shared some thoughts with the student body and urged them to focus on this topic over the summer. For some, this was a final word of direction as they prepare for graduation and move on to their next venture in life. He challenged all our students to be like Jesus and to keep on growing.
Keep On Growing
Luke 2:52 ESV: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
In the Greek, the word for “increased” is in the imperfect tense, so perhaps a better translation would be that Jesus “kept on increasing.” That means that for Jesus, learning wasn’t a one-time deal. In fact, learning and growing in the things of God was the main focus of the majority of His life.
Have you ever noticed that we have only a small number of biblical stories concerning Jesus’ childhood? What was He doing for the 30 years we have no record of? Luke 2:52 gives us a clue. He was learning. He was growing in wisdom.
Think about this: Jesus spent the majority of His life in obscurity and learning. In fact, if you do the math, 91 percent of Jesus’ life was preparation for the 9 percent of ministry that He did. Now compare that to this current generation. So many are eager to step into what God has for them now! But the problem with that is many in ministry never make it to the finish line because they jumped in before they had been adequately prepared. Don’t waste your obscure times of life. Learn. Grow. Then keep on growing.
Here is Dr. T’s SMART plan for growing into your calling.
S - Seek out smart people. Whom are you seeking out? When you do seek someone out, do you ask them questions? Don’t try to impress them with your knowledge. Seek out someone who is farther down the road from you, and then ask good questions and listen. This isn’t the time for you to be heard. This is your time to listen.
M - Make time to learn. We are surrounded by constant entertainment. Entertainment allows you to check out mentally and let others think for you. If you aren’t making time to learn, then you will have nothing to share with others. If there is no gas in the tank, then your vehicle isn’t going anywhere.
A - Apply what you learn. Nothing is learned until it is lived. For us, biblical knowledge learned but not lived actually makes us puffed up with pride.
R - Resource yourself. We live in the information age. We have access to more knowledge than any other society that has come before us. Most people study other people’s results and desire those results without digging deeper into the process that brought those results. Fruit is produced by roots. Quit studying fruit and start studying the root of that fruit!
T - Take your opportunities. As you begin to grow and stretch yourself, opportunities to share what you have learned will come your way. Share what you have learned. Don’t try to teach those who are farther down the road than you, but reach behind and teach those who are one chapter behind you. Take time to invest in people.