For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8 ESV
When someone trusts Christ as their Savior their sins are forgiven, and they are born again. That is, they are born a second time, born spiritually, into God’s family. These new believers are spiritual babies and as such, need special care. They must be loved, cared for, fed, and protected to insure healthy spiritual growth to maturity.
Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, called follow-up “spiritual pediatrics.” It is helping another believer grow in the basic foundations of their walk with God. It means imparting God’s truth, as found in the Bible, to others. But in addition, it is the giving of oneself, motivated by love, to another so that they may know God intimately.
- Trusting Christ, salvation, is the beginning of a spiritual growth process that continues our entire life. What do the following passages say about growing in Christ? — Philippians 3:12-14; Colossians 2:6-7; 2 Peter 1:5-9
- Helping another believer grow in Christ is a great privilege and responsibility. What is said in the following passages about helping others grow in their relationship with God? — 1 Corinthians 3:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-13; 2 Peter 1:12-15
Question to ponder: Has God placed someone in your life and leadership for you to help them grow spiritually in Christ?
Passages for further reflection: 1 Corinthians 3:1-2; Colossians 1:28-29