Hot Topics

Hot Topics explore issues and experiences that can draw us away or closer to God. Please share your experiences and insights. You can also suggest new topics by using the Contact form.

Spiritual Growth

No one can dismiss the need for character growth. To suggest that we do not need to grow implies that we have reached perfection. As Christians, we continually hear messages that call us to grow spiritually. Often, these sermons leave Christians pursuing growth on their own strength. The usual outcome of self-growth disillusions Christians to believe that God has dismissed us. We conclude that God must be disappointed when we do not reach our goals. This understanding does not represent His heart at all. The following study reveals God's true nature towards us.

Spiritual Growth: Biblical Study

1 John 4: 15 – 17 states:
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.


Spiritual Growth: Conclusion & Scriptures

The scriptures are clear. God calls us to grow and represent His Divine nature. However, this growth first begins with Him and built upon His Son. He does not want us to pursue this growth on our own accord or strength. Instead, He calls us to focus on Jesus. He emphasizes that as we grow and even those moments when we do not, He remains faithful to us. He stays near to us. Our failures or life will never separate us from the love which is in Christ Jesus.
Complete List of Scriptures
1 John 4: 15 – 17

Shame & Guilt

Merriam-Webster possesses three definitions for shame: 1) "a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety", 2) "condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute", and 3) "something that brings censure or reproach; also something to be regretted ". Therefore, shame focuses on self. I am a bad person or I will never be good enough or I cannot believe that I am the type of person who would do this or that. On the other hand, guilt is defined as "feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy".

My Redemption From Shame & Guilt

I have been consumed with shame and guilt the majority of my life. Not only did I possess extreme forms of it when dealing with my addiction, but it crossed over in other areas of my life. For instance, in multiple situations, I would think that I am a terrible person, because I would lie constantly. Or I would think that I am a bad person. I am such a bad person that I am not worthy of love. For myself, I wanted love and found a sanctuary in my addictions. For the Samaritan woman, she pursued love in an unhealthy manner with numerous relationships.

Final Thoughts About Shame & Guilt

Conquering the effects of shame and guilt are continual. It requires daily attention and it begins with bringing all things back to Jesus. First, Jesus is kind, loving, and not afraid of us. Shame and guilt want you to believe that Jesus will not be this way towards you. However, it is a lie. Not once did Jesus stop loving the Samaritan woman. Instead He fought for her to gain the complete truth and leave her life of sin. He wanted to be her everything.