Real, sustainable change happens gradually. Think of the power of compound effect.
Three Friends These three buddies grew up together. They live in the same neighborhood, with very similar sensibilities. Each earns around $50,000 a year. They’re all married and have average health and body weight, plus a little bit of that dreaded “marriage flab.” Larry plods along doing as he’s always done. He’s happy, or so he thinks, but complains occasionally that nothing ever changes. Scott starts making some small, seemingly inconsequential, positive changes. He begins reading in the evening and listening to 30 minutes of something instructional or inspirational on his commute to work. He recently read an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz and chose one idea from the article to implement in his life: He’s going to cut 125 calories from his diet every day. No big deal. He’s also started walking a couple of thousand extra steps per day (less than a mile). No grand acts of bravery or effort. Stuff anyone could do. But Scott is determined to stick with these choices, knowing that even though they’re simple, he could also easily be tempted to abandon them. Brad makes a few poor choices. He recently bought a new big-screen TV so he can watch more of his favorite programs. He’s been trying out the recipes he’s seen on the Food Channel—the cheesy casseroles and desserts are his favorites. Oh, and he installed a bar in his family room and added one alcoholic drink per week to his diet. Nothing crazy. Brad just wants to have a little more fun. At the end of five months, no perceivable differences exist among Larry, Scott or Brad. Even though each man has his own pattern of behavior, five months isn’t long enough to see any real decline or improvement in their situations. In fact, if you charted the three men’s weights, you’d see a rounding error of zero. They’d look exactly equal. At the end of 15 months, we still can’t see noticeable changes in any of their lives. At about month 25, we start seeing really measurable, visible differences. At month 27, we see an expansive difference. And, by month 31, the change is startling. Brad is now fat while Scott is trim. By simply cutting 125 calories a day, in 31 months, Scott has lost 33 pounds! Brad ate only 125 more calories more a day in that same time frame, and gained 33.5 pounds. Now he weighs 67 pounds more than Scott! But the differences are more significant than weight. Scott’s invested almost 1,000 hours reading good books and listening to self-improvement audios; by putting his newly gained knowledge into practice, he’s earned a promotion and a raise. Best of all, his marriage is thriving. Brad? He’s unhappy at work, and his marriage is on the rocks. And Larry? Larry is pretty much exactly where he was two and half years ago, except now he’s a little more bitter about it. It’s Simple, Be Consistent The phenomenal power of the Compound Effect is that simple. The difference between people who employ the Compound Effect for their benefit compared to their peers who allow the same effect to work against them is almost inconceivable. It looks miraculous! Like magic or quantum leaps. After 31 months (or 31 years), the person who uses the positive nature of the Compound Effect appears to be an “overnight success.”
Compound effect. How can we do little things every day to make big changes in our lives.
How can we apply this story to our lives?
What spiritual growth IS NOT
Spiritual growth has nothing to do with our salvation. From the moment you were baptized into Christ you are saved.
Spiritually growth is not a matter of God’s love. God will love us no matter what. Doesn’t matter if we grow or not.
Spiritual growth is not a matter of your time as Christian.
Knowledge alone is not the issue. Growth is not about what you know but what you do.
Spiritual growth is not another church activity. Being busy with church activities doesn’t make you grow spiritually.
Spiritual growth has nothing to do with title or position. Being a pastor or elder doesn’t mean you have special relationship with God.
We grow spiritually as we worship God more and understand His grace.
The ultimate condemnation is when people don’t give God glory.
God wants to change the reality where people don’t want to give Him worship.
The way to grow spiritually is to focus on glorifying God.
What are some practicals?
Be still Psalm 37:7
Give praise to God. Psalm 50:23. Focus on gratitude.
Be content. When we’re content we acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
Praying with expectation.
Share God’s word. 2 Thessalonians 3:2