8 Questions That Help Me Know If I’m Growing Spiritually

newtonbookcoverIt seems like I should be able to determine relatively easily if I’m personally growing spiritually but it isn’t as easy as you think it should be. What exactly should I be looking for in my life? For so many people the indicators of spiritual growth are only focused on behavior. Now of course our behavior is incredibly important to God but when that is the only consideration, we neglect our heart which is where our motives and loves spring from.

I recently finished Tony Reinke’s book Newton on the Christian Life; a book that will almost certainly be on the short list of best books that I read in 2015. Even if you’re not familiar with Newton, you are definitely familiar with his most famous hymn: Amazing Grace. After leaving the slave trade, Newton became a pastor in Olney and later London. While his sermons are rather ordinary, the hundreds of personal letters he wrote are exceptional. They are quite literally treasure troves of spiritual wisdom, pastoral care, and pictures of grace.

Reinke does a great job of surfacing some of Newton’s treasures and helping the reader personally benefit from it. In one section he shares Newton’s marks of a maturing Christian. While this list is hardly exhaustive, it does a good job of probing our heart and helping us see areas of our life that we might need to grow in. After each mark, I included a question(s) to further help me discern where I am spiritually.

8 Marks of a Maturing Christian Faith

1. Maturity moves away from a self-centered life and toward a gospel-simple, God-centered orientation aimed at God’s glory.

Do I find myself concerned less and less about my kingdom and more about God’s kingdom? When I get upset is it because someone broke God’s laws or my laws?

2. Maturity moves away from a circumstantially centered roller coaster of emotions and toward a disciplined life rooted in daily spiritual habits.

Do I find myself developing a steadfast confidence in God’s promises or am I passive as my fluctuating moods determine my attitude and behavior?

3. Maturity moves away from a legalistic, works-oriented relationship with God and toward a stable, gospel-centered security in Christ.

When I sin do I run to Christ because I know that I am forgiven or do I feel like I have to earn my way back into fellowship with him?

4. Maturity moves a way from a self-centered evaluation of assurance of salvation and toward a firm confidence in Christ as the ground of assurance.

When I come to a bridge and wonder whether it is strong enough to support me as I cross over it, do I look at my car (my faith) or the bridge (Jesus)?          

5. Maturity moves away from exalted thoughts of self and toward lower and more humbled opinions of self and greater awareness of the remaining sin within.

Am I pretty impressed with where I am spiritually and how far I’ve come or am I convicted about how much sin remains within me?

6. Maturity moves away from the impulse to correct others in harsh arrogance and toward a humbled and loving correction of others motivated by a deep sense of the worth of souls.

Am I bothered more by others’ sins or my own? Today, do I believe that I am the worst sinner that I know?

7. Maturity moves away from fearful apprehension about life’s circumstances and toward a confidence in God’s sovereign orchestration over every detail in life.

Do I have a growing sense that nothing can happen to me apart from the will of my loving father who gave his own son for me?

8. Maturity moves away from worldly securities and toward an increasing willingness to leave this world in the Lord’s timing.

Am I living like this world or the next world is the main world?    

*Originally published on June 4, 2015

One Comment

  1. Rejoice Busisiwe said:

    in all this questions I think this are most true answers I can give.
    1. yes, God’s law and church vision
    2. yes, I get jelousy at times
    3. earn my way back to god
    4. I check my care which is my faith
    5. impressed
    6. mine and others and no
    7. yes
    8.looking forward to the next world

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