God Develops Us Slowly
By Rick Warren
— March 14, 2011
The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once …. Deuteronomy 7:22 (NLT)
"Growth is often painful and scary, but if you want the next ten years to be the best of your life, the work you are doing now will be worth it."
Although God could instantly transform us, he has chosen to develop us slowly.
Why does it take so long to change and grow? There are several reasons --
We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a lesson forty or fifty times to really get it. The problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again! I’ve already learned that!”—but God knows better. We need repeated exposure.
We have a lot to unlearn. Many people go to a counselor with a personal or relational problem that took years to develop and say, “I need you to fix me. I’ve got an hour.” Since most of our problems—and all of our bad habits—didn’t develop overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately.
Growth is often painful and scary, but if you want the next ten years to be the best of your life, the work you are doing now will be well worth it. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. Even if our old ways are self-defeating, we are tempted to return to them because, like a worn out pair of shoes, they are comfortable and familiar.
You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new, but what God has planned for you is far more than anything you can imagine. Stay steady at it, remembering that “little by little” God is clearing the way for you to grow and change.