Are you growing in grace? To me, grace is Holy Spirit empowerment to become more like Jesus; therefore, growing in grace means increasing in Christlikeness through the unmerited power of God’s Spirit. So let me rephrase the question: Are you relying on the Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus — at home, at work, in relationships?
Take an honest look at your life over the past year and think of all the trials you have come through. Have you reacted with faith, grace, love and mercy? Have you been kind, patient, gentle and soft-spoken? Or do you have to admit that you have reacted with anger, self-pity and harsh words? “Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11). “Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (verse 14).
As a mature Christian, you have built a spiritual foundation over the years through regular Bible study, consistent prayer, and godly instruction. But are you still becoming more like Jesus? Are you more compassionate, meek, merciful and forgiving than you were at this time last year?
We become stunted in growth when we react childishly to the hurts others heap on us. Paul warned the Ephesians, “No longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). You may think, “Well, this verse doesn’t apply to me. I’m grounded in the Word.”
But Paul’s message calls for us to examine ourselves yet again. How do we react to people who call themselves our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet spread falsehood about us? What is our answer when they wound and grieve us to the point of tears? Paul makes it clear that we are not to be childish.
I encourage you to examine your life carefully and remind yourself that growing in grace is increasing in the likeness of Christ through the power of the Spirit. And keep asking yourself this question: Am I growing more like Jesus by trusting the power of the Holy Spirit?