Are you Stagnant?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

I planted my own personal nursery a short time ago. My husband constructed three-foot-high planters and we filled them with the best soil and seedlings gently placed in straight rows. We had all the important ingredients - water, sunshine, and fertilizer - everything we needed for blossoms, herbs, fresh fruit, and veggies.

But nothing grew. Weeks later, I checked each seedling to make sure it was still soft and hydrated. Nothing crumbled under my touch. They were still alive but something was missing. They were firmly planted but had not matured.

Doesn’t that sound like the Christian walk at times? We can be planted in our faith but fail to grow and fail to become more like Christ. We become stagnant despite being told to never stop growing and to bear fruit.

In my garden, I had envisioned beautiful, lush greenery overflowing the bounds of my garden beds. But instead I had miniature plants doing nothing. Just as I envisioned my garden bearing fruit, God desires the same from us. He is grieved when we miss out on the new life He desires to give us.

Becoming stagnant is an insidious process. It doesn’t happen overnight. The day to day busyness, stress, conflict, or difficulties of our lives often crowd out our relationship with Christ.  It is easy to place God last on our “to-do” list. When we do, we stop moving in the direction of growth. And we may not even notice it happening. 

If you find yourself stagnant is there something you can do to change it?

Nothing good comes without time and hard work. Bearing fruit involves being pruned and weathering the elements of life in a Christlike fashion. What kind of fruit are believers to bear? Galatians 5:22-23 tells us: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Unlike raising tomatoes and eggplant, cultivating this kind of fruit can be a challenge. It takes intentionality. It means using loving words with a spouse who may not do the same in return. It means caring for that irritating co-worker. It means holding the tongue when your child talks back. Above all, it means clinging to Christ’s promise to give new life day by day.

Have you become stagnant? If, so what steps can you take to move toward growth?