Learning To Grow by Naty Matos

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Growing is a part of life, but not always an easy one. Physically, it’s a very basic process…as the time goes by and as long as we are generally healthy it will happen without our intervention. Emotional and spiritually growth requires a little bit more intervention.

Part of the spiritual growth requires that our relationship with God and the one with ourselves grow as well and how do we accomplish that. I’m don’t have all the answers, but these are some of the things that I’ve noticed recently that have made me feel like I’m growing closer to God.

Honesty

honesty1

Everyone says that they want to know the truth, but do you really? As long as the truth is not something negative about ourselves, of course we do…well, that’s not living in the whole truth and partial truths are considered lies. First of all I think being brutally honest with yourself makes a difference. I’ve had to learn to stop and ask myself my motivation behind my actions. Do I want to do this because I like it, because I want to do it or because I feel forced to do it? In doing this am I trying to please God or please people.

Then I came across this scripture, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” Romans 7:17-19.

Wait a minute, that’s me! I want to do good, I want to do right, but I just seem to not be able on my own. It took me months reading that scripture almost twice a week to get it; (I’ve always said that I’m slow). Then something happen, I was in the middle of a situation and I knew I was about to do the wrong thing and I remembered the scripture and I prayed. I was totally honest with God like I had never been before. I told him my thoughts, my motives and intentions, I recognized that I was aware that I was wrong and I said, “I know I can’t stop myself, but I know you can stop me”. I gave him permission to intervene (remember our free will, he will not intervene in our lives without our consent)…something I had never done before. Guess what? He did. Something came about and I was unable to do wrong. It was totally weird, I thought it was coincidence, and so the next time I was on a verge of doing something I knew it was wrong, I tried it again and it worked just like the first time.

Accountability

accountability

I know I say this a lot, but it is true. I know for me it is. We do better in front of people that by ourselves. That doesn’t mean we’re hypocrites, it’s just that peer pressure works both for good and for bad, therefore let’s use it for good. I know that if I didn’t have a gym buddy I would have dropped that like a hot potato long time ago. It’s a proven fact, I’ve paid whole gym memberships that were not used…more than once (remember…slow).

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

If we find someone who can really be there for us when we struggle and we are there for them when they do, life it’s a lot easier. It doesn’t mean someone telling you what to do or you telling them what to do. In accountability you have to open yourself to be honest and vulnerable to another person. I know it’s scary, but remember that this person has committed to do the same with you. It means to encourage each other when one is down or in need of support

Counsel

counsel

I have not used my friend Webster in a while. Webster (dictionary) says that counsel is advice given as a result of a consultation. This means you need to go (action word) and seek the counsel, it will not come to you. I liked the second part of the definition where it states plan of action or behavior. Basically you want to do something and you need a plan to do it and you need advice to do it if you want to better your chances at succeeding.
Obviously we start with God. We ask him if what we’re doing in his will for our lives “-Job 12:13 “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.”

We have a lot of people in our lives that may be wiser and more mature in their emotions and spiritual walk, regardless of their chronological age. It’s good to keep those people around and talk to them about our plans, our struggles and seek their recommendations. How many times we’ve messed up because we didn’t know any better or were to prideful to ask for help? We need mentors and counselors. People who are filled with the spirit of God and his wisdom and that could show us the right way. “Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

I talk about more growing points in my book Growth Lessons which I’m re-launching with a new look and which will be available in Spanish before the end of the year. Just to show my appreciation to all my readers it will be on Sale for 0.99 cents for a week. (July 30th-August 6th) Join my journey with God and his given Growth Lessons.

Naty MatosGrowth Lessons

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at http://therisingmuse.com/

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