Yep, today I’m another year older — physically speaking. But does another year reflect more spiritual growth?

Isn’t that the question we should really be asking ourselves? After all, our age – defined by years on a calendar – is not necessarily a reflection of our spiritual “age”, our maturity in Christ.

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5: 13,14

So, what are some indicators as to how a person is growing in righteousness — more like Christ, and less like me? I came across this blog that helped me to get started. I tweaked them a bit for my personal use:

1. A Growing Christian has a hunger for God in their heart and life. Brian and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday. The more I know him, the more I love him. And because I love him, I want to know what delights his heart. Same is true in a growing relationship with God. You want to know more about Him. His likes and dislikes. You literally hunger to know Him.

2. A Growing Christian has an increasing desire to know God’s Word. You want to read God’s Word, study God’s Word and memorize God’s Word. It is God-breathed – living and active! You look forward to your time with Him every day — and you find yourself constantly amazed that He is even more interested in spending time with you. You’ll read the Word as if it is a personal love letter to YOU… because it is. It is written with costly “ink”… the blood of Christ, which runs from Genesis through Revelation on your behalf.

3. A Growing Christian has a greater sensitivity to sin in their life. Sin bothers you because you hate anything that hurts your God. Like the Corinth church, you’re willing to do whatever necessary to correct the problem (2 Corinthians 7:10-14).

4. A Growing Christian has a decreasing desire for the world’s system. You want to be different from the world, not conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2).

5. A Growing Christian’s sphere of love is continually increasing. You find it easier and easier to love those different than yourself. It doesn’t matter what their skin color, belief system or likes and dislikes. You find it easier to love more and more people, knowing that it is through this unconditional love that others see Christ in you.

6. A Growing Christian finds it easier and easier to forgive others. You realize you’ve been forgiven, and you didn’t deserve it, so you’re willing to forgive others too. No more petty score cards of who hurt you. Grow up!

7. A Growing Christian has a concern for the spiritual condition of others. “It’s not about me” is your mantra — you are concerned for others. You pray for sensitivity to other’s needs — physically, emotionally, and especially spiritually. You are careful not to be a stumbling block to other’s spiritual growth. You pray for salvation — confident in the fact that your God IS mighty to save!

8. A Growing Christian wants to be constantly growing. As our boys were growing up, Brian would mark their height on a board next to their bedroom door. They were always excited to see how much they had grown since the last time they were measured. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that kind of excitement about the growth of our spiritual lives? By the way, when we moved, we took the board with us. They weren’t the only ones excited. 🙂

“It is written: ‘I believed, therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-16

I think I’ll have them put this on my cake next year!