Principles of Growth

The point to gaining knowledge is not simply learning, it is to understand and to grow both personally and professionally.

Spoken at a teaching seminar.

—Corey Olynik

The law of creation is an undisputed and unrelenting principle of growth. In the Bible, one of the writers, John expressed it this way in John 12:24: wheat kernels must be planted in the soil alone, one at a time, to die. That death will produce so many new kernels, just like a full harvest of new lives. New life out of death.

As is typical of Jesus’s teaching, found in the Bible, expectations are turned upside-down. To produce life, there is first death. To produce fruit, there is first burial. Growth then requires a lot of hard work and for us to pay close attention to the task at hand. In all we do while investing in people, a focus on growth is more important than a focus on learning and gaining knowledge.

At school, studying all manner of topics, I would whine and complain because I thought I would never use the information taught to me. Now I realize that there’s so much more to learn than I ever considered.

Do you remember being a teenager? Remember your vast wealth of knowledge that exceeded anything your parents knew? And today? Don’t you marvel at how little you know?

Truly, knowledge opens doors of opportunity. It allows us to discover worlds beyond us. And yet knowledge on its own is not the goal; growth is. If you’re a developer of people, you must grow yourself if you’re going to be an effective mentor.

We can learn so much by paying attention to the rhythms of creation. Creation is like an infinity loop—from seed, seedling, plant, flower, fruit, and then back to seed. Our role is to plant, water, feed, nurture, let rest, harvest, and then take seeds and repeat the process. These are the rhythms of the life of a seed. This is sustainability in action.

Sometimes in our familiarity with these processes, or maybe our casual disregard for them, they become ho-hum and we cease to appreciate the powerful truths they contain. This pertains not just to farming and gardening, but to mentoring and creating space for people to grow. It pertains to how we invest in, entrust, and empower people to do whata they were created and called to do.

There is a rhythm to growth and an invitation for all to participate.

©Inspired Lead; from Shifting Perspectives, Jesus Through a Leadership Lens.

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