Significant spiritual growth occurs only to the extent that a Judeo-Christian believer routinely serves the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others thus growing in the character, by becoming increasingly humble, forgiving, merciful, longsuffering, and serving. That is God’s will for YOUR life.
As a child, did you ever play with a glass prism? It is a small wedge-shaped piece of glass with two triangular sides and three rectangular sides (one is the base). When sunlight or white light from any source is passed through the prism, the light is separated into its components revealing all the colors of the rainbow.
Scientists have demonstrated that all physical energy originates from the sun. Fossil fuels, for example, were once plants that absorbed solar energy through a process called photosynthesis. The plants used the energy from sunlight to combine water and carbon dioxide, producing glucose (a form of sugar) and oxygen. Large masses of dead plants exposed to elevated temperatures and pressures deep within the earth eventually became the crude oil and natural gas that are burned today to produce energy. Even the energy that supports our own life arises from the plants we eat or the animals we eat that have themselves fed on plants. Hence, we “burn calories” to release the energy that supports all body functions.
In contrast, love is spiritual energy. Just as the sun is the source of all physical energy, God is the source of all spiritual energy, because “…God is love…” [1 John 4:16 KJV] and “…love comes from God. [1 John 4:7 NIV] Similarly as light (physical/electromagnetic energy) is separated into its influences—a rainbow of colors—when the light passes through a glass prism, God’s love (spiritual energy) is separated into its influences when it passes through the prism of you and me.
The graphic shows how God’s infinite love is expressed through people. The components of love are expressed as attitudes and specific acts of humility, forgiveness, mercy, long-suffering, and a servant’s spirit. Collectively, the growth of those influences in each person’s life moves him/her toward the perfection of godly character, i.e. maturity. Multiple actions that spread God’s love in turn produce the fruit of that Spirit of giving, including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Sadly, the prism of our life is not as clear as the glass prism we played with children. The prism of your life and mine is a bit fogged by the pride that becomes a barrier to the free flow of God’s love through us. That pride is our insistence on doing things our way instead of God’s way; it’s our personal war with God. It is pride that interferes with or obstructs efforts or even desire to be humble, forgiving, merciful, longsuffering, and having a servant’s spirit. Maturity is a lifelong process of overcoming pride. It is as if we hear God saying, “Get you pride out of the way and let My love pass through!” What do you think?