Today is the last day my Pre-Schooler (And youngest child) gets to come to the office with dad. To be honest, I'm a bit sad, though I'm proud of the little guy. He's moving on to Kindergarten. He's been ready to do the "big boy stuff" for a while now. He wants to walk to school with his brothers, make his own lunch, and get to enjoy the new experience that his new school will offer him. Whether or not I'm ready for it, it's here, and I'm not going to hold on to him so tightly that I hold him back. He's reached a milestone, and while I can look back at the journey, be proud of him, and be proud that his mother, brothers, and I have helped him get this far, I'm going to continue encouraging his growth and reaching more milestones. I'm not going to hold him back.
How often do we let our own spiritual growth, or the growth of others be stunted for our own selfish reasons? We want to be in control, or we want to have the center of attention, or we make other people's growth all about us. The fact is, none of it is about us, and people will grow, with our encouragement, or without our support. The question is, what are we doing to support such growth? Jesus prayed over His disciples, even encouraging them to do greater works than He did (though it is debatable that anyone could, for the Cross is the greatest work in all of History!), so let us be like Jesus in our encouragement of those who come after us!
In the Christian walk, getting people to Jesus is important, no, Crucial! There's nothing more important than that! But, just as we don't hand off a fully packed suitcase to a newborn and say "here you go, kid, good luck!," we shouldn't merely hand someone a bible fresh from the baptistry and say "all the answers are here, you can figure this out on your own!" We, as the church, as Spiritual parents, brothers and sisters in Christ, need to encourage and nurture growth. We need to encourage the body to get in to the word, and not merely take our word for it. The word of God, with the indwelling presence and interpretation of the Holy Spirit will do miraculous wonders in one's life, and so will encouragement. Help new believers reach these milestones, and get out of the way if the Holy Spirit increases them abundantly! 2 Peter 3:14-18 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Colossians 1:3-14 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.