The Secret of Personal Growth
Mar 16, 2020 2115
We all live our lives in motion. Sometimes, we feel pulled in so many directions, we feel as if we’re just going in circles. Have you ever felt like that?
What is the secret to personal growth?
In his later years, when I’d ask Dr Desmond Ford how he was doing, he’d often respond with,
“They never bury anything that moves.”
The truth is that while we live, we move. The question is: Are you moving in the right direction?
After his resurrection, Jesus had told his disciples to meet him in Galilee, and once they get there, Jesus makes sure that he has some “alone-time” with Peter.
Peter was devastated that he had disowned Jesus in the house of the High Priest. He probably felt like total rubbish, completely unworthy to be trusted by Jesus again. After all, Peter had had set such standards for himself, and he had also failed so miserably!
Now, Jesus asks Peter,
“Simon son of John, do you love more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” … “Follow me!” (John 21:15-23).
Keep growing in your love for Christ.
When Jesus spoke with Peter, he knew that there was a possibility that Peter might get stuck in the failures and the pain of his past. And so, Jesus wants to challenge Peter to keep growing in the right direction, and so he asks him,
Do you love me?
When Peter answers that he does, what Jesus is saying to him, in effect, is,
“That’s good, Peter. You’re headed in the right direction. Now keep going. Keep growing in your love for me.”
The secret to personal growth is to keep growing. We always need to keep moving in the right direction, and often we wonder just what direction is.
Jesus explains it to Peter. The key is to keep growing in your love for him. And the key to understanding this conversation that Jesus had with Peter, is that just when you realise that you’re close to getting there, Jesus is there to tell you that you need to go deeper still.
“Loving Jesus” isn’t just some religious or mystical thing which has nothing to do with the real world. Instead, this passage suggests that the more that you grow in love for Jesus, the more opportunities that you will find for helping the weak, the vulnerable, and the lost. These are Christ’s sheep.
That’s the ultimate secret of personal growth.