As a Christian Counselor, I work with a lot of individuals who are seeking personal growth. Often, people come into my office feeling frustrated with themselves. They know the right things they should be doing. Yet they are struggling to apply these to their daily lives. I have put together these “ABC’s of growth” to help us remember how to set ourselves up for success when taking steps in our personal and spiritual development.
How often do we surround ourselves with individuals who are willing to hold us accountable? It is our nature to choose people to be in our inner circle who tell us what we want to hear. Our fear of rejection leads us to avoid individuals who will point out our flaws. Proverbs warns us of the dangers of puffing ourselves up. “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice” (Proverbs 13:10).
We observe Jesus being a friend who spoke truth, regardless of the toes stepped on. When Jesus shared with his disciples the reality of his coming death, Peter rebukes Jesus saying such a horrible thing will happen to him. In return, Jesus tells Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23). Jesus had accepted the reality of the coming events, and wanted his disciples to do the same. If Jesus is the friend who holds others accountable, why aren’t we seeking this quality out in others?
Sometimes when an individual hits a wall in their growth, it points to a need for boundaries. Maybe someone in your life keeps bringing you back to the place you were instead of lifting you towards who you’re becoming. Maybe there are distractions in your life pulling you away from where you need to focus. Whatever the issue, boundaries can help support you in reaching your goal. If it is a person who is creating issues, start by having a conversation with the individual. Maybe they don’t realize they’re hurting instead of helping.
However, if the individual is unable to change their behavior, it’s important to implement boundaries so they can grow at their own pace without affecting your growth. This may be limiting your interactions, or completely distancing yourself from them for a period of time. If it is social media that is distracting you, try setting time constrictions on your phone, or set your phone aside until you can complete your goal.
A major factor that stunts our growth is dishonesty. This isn’t just dishonesty with others, but dishonesty with ourselves. When we have a misunderstanding of God’s gift of grace, we can feel we have to earn God’s love and work to be “good enough.” This misinterpretation of God’s word results in us feeling we must hide our worst parts of ourselves from God, and if we practice this for long enough, we can hide them from ourselves, too. This denial doesn’t make us look any better to God, but it does create a break in our relationship with Him.
In order to continue growing, we must be willing to step forward with candor and open ourselves to our own flaws. As we begin honestly assessing ourselves, we can open ourselves up to the transformation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and become more like Christ each day. Additionally, as we fully display our shortcomings on the cross, we grow a deeper understanding of Christ’s love for us. His love can never lessen or grow for us, as he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Yet, as we let Him into our most vulnerable parts, we find true freedom from fear of failure and disappointment. It is in this freedom where we grow exponentially.
These ABC’s won’t unlock a secret to reaching perfection overnight, as perfection is unattainable, but they can be tools to support you in your walk.
Let Our Counselors Walk With You On Your Journey Of Growth
Kayla Wright is a frequent guest author on this blog. She joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky in May of this year. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Teens and pre-teens.
Kayla is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association. She possesses an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky. She is highly skilled in teenage substance abuse counseling and teenage depression counseling.
Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky. She also offers online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our Counseling for teens and pre-teens in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org