The #1 factor for spiritual growth?

I think the number one factor that contributes to your spiritual growth and to your maturity as a person is…

Difficult circumstances. 

Granted, I don’t have any data to back that up. But that’s what I think after talking to hundreds of people, reading hundreds of books, and from my own personal experience.

First, difficult circumstances shatter the illusion that you can navigate life on your own without any help. And second, they bring you to your knees before God on a whole new level.

In Romans 5:3-4 (ESV) Paul writes, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” Since you’ve dealt with difficult circumstances (often multiple times) you learn to keep going, which deepens your character (through consistent spiritual practices and habits), which leads to hope (because those character-building habits remind you of the never-ending and big-picture goodness and provision of God).

Friends, I know that things can get tough. But don’t give up. As hard as it might be, open yourself to the possibility that difficult experiences can be soul construction—or soul renovation—for a stronger, wiser and more faithful future you.

Life isn’t just about what your circumstances are, but who you become despite your circumstances.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s Up! is partly based on my Sunday podcast called “No Eraser — Re-thinking your difficult circumstances for a stronger, wiser, and more faithful future you.” You can listen to the 26-minute podcast here. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “The #1 factor for spiritual growth?

  1. A study on students after graduation showed that you’re right! It wasn’t students who got top marks who showed the most success in their careers. It was the ones who learned to get through failure and keep going. Those who had never failed were less able to get through the tough parts of life. I read this study a few years ago. You’re right. Failure seems to add to our chances for success!


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