Growing and Maturing

Read: Genesis 45

The story of Joseph in Genesis 37-45 has always been one of my favorite. There are so many life examples that can be gleaned from that story that I could probably write a years worth of midweek meditations from those chapters alone. But the one example that we see play out from the start of the story to the finish is how Joseph grew and matured as he followed the plan God had for his life.

In the early chapters we see a Joseph that is prideful and somewhat full of himself. He brags and causes friction with his brothers that ends up placing him in dire circumstances. After he is sold into slavery and taken to Egypt Joseph begins to grow up. When faced with temptation he learns to stay true to God, when faced with the opportunity to get revenge on his brothers he chooses to forgive them instead.

Joseph’s life is a good example for us to examine how our growth process is going. Are we learning from past mistakes and making decisions that show growth in our faith and trust in Christ? We often talk about how teenagers go through that time of adolescents in which they grow and begin to mature into adults, but in reality that maturing process should never end. If we ever find ourselves at a point of thinking we have it all figured out we are at a very dangerous and problematic place.

In 2 Timothy it says “The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” By putting those three things to work in our lives we can grow and mature in the ways that God desires. Yes, we need his power to overcome, we for sure need his love and need to act upon his love with others, and when temptation comes we need to rely on him to give us self-discipline and make wise Godly choices.

Joseph was a man of integrity and spiritual sensitivity. That came to him because of his desire to grow and mature in the ways of God. I hope that we are finding ways to grow in Christ as well. Seek out a small group to meet with, begin attending Christian Education classes, study your Bible, pray for a deeper walk with Jesus, but make every effort to grow and mature as 2 Peter 1:5-8 says…..

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Make it Personal: What grade would you get for your effort in growing and maturing in Christ? Think about that this week and make some changes to improve that grade. Find one way to start and then try to add several other things that will help you become and stronger and better follower of Jesus.

Blessings, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church