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April 23, 2014- 10:15pm
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The Plagues of Growth

Growth is the only evidence of life.
Cardinal John Henry Newman

Growth is the natural progression of life. It is the defining element of development. It is essential, but does not occur without impediments. Growth requires nurturing; often it requires much, while at other times, it requires little. Still, it is the evidence that life exists.

Jesus said you can tell a tree by its fruit. By implication, you can determine whether there is life by examining that fruit, or lack thereof.

As sickness and lack of nutrients and water hinder plant growth, so, too, spiritual and emotional growth have their obstacles. We can avoid some of these hindrances. While we can’t escape others, our reaction to them determines our rate of growth.

Here are some of the hindrances-plagues of growth.

Tradition causes us to think inside the box, to limit out thought processes to the “way things are.”
Jesus castigated the Pharisees because of their tradition and said that those traditions “invalidated the Word of God.” When we depend on tradition, we fail to tap into God’s vast resources.

Indecision and hesitation always stunt our growth. The Bible says, “How long will you halt between two opinions?” When God gives us direction, we must move.

Worry and impatience are dreadful interruptions to the growth process. These sidetracking derivatives of the growth process distract focus and energies from our goal. They drain adrenaline and needlessly redirect concentration. Change the things you have control over, but do not waste time worrying about the things you cannot change.

Planting yourself in the wrong place-the wrong soil, if you will-also is a hindrance to our growth. God has a distinct track for each of our lives, and when we take a detour from that track, we take our lives our from under His divine umbrella. As the Israelites followed the cloud to maintain their blessing, so, too, must we continue in the place where God has called us.

Lack of preparation stalls growth and causes disorganization. Jesus prepared thirty years for His ministry. Paul retired to the desert before readying himself for the key years of his life. Dare we believe that preparation is not vital to our ministries and vocations? Without this key ingredient, we leave ourselves open to potholes and detours.

There is yet another essential ingredient to the growth process-accountability. With it, we preserve integrity and expose ourselves to new ideas, a mentoring process, and checks and balances. Without accountability, we open ourselves to the pitfalls of pride, suspicion, and tradition.

These are but a few of the key elements of the growth process that can either cause us to flourish or flounder. Taking action against these paralyzing enemies of growth will determine whether or not we become champions and fulfill our destiny, which is God’s plan for our lives.


  • Change the things you have control over, but do not waste time worrying about things you cannot change.
  • When God gives us direction, we must move.
  • When we depend on tradition, we fail to tap into God’s vast resources.
  • Lack of preparation stalls growth and causes disorganization.


  • Do you recognize any of the plagues of growth in your own life? Often they are present and we do not even realize it until God reveals them through the light of the Holy Spirit.
  • If we desire to grow exponentially through God’s plan for our lives, avoiding these plagues is essential.

    Let’s pray. Father, I want to be the champion You desire for me to be. If anything is hindering my growth, I ask You to reveal it through the Holy Spirit, then help me to overcome this plague. Cause me to walk in the fullness of growth that You have for my life and to be nurtured by Your love and grace. Amen.

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