Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In Part 1 of this two-part article, I brought out why I believe there is a great need for personal development in the Christian realm and some of the reasons I attribute to that need. I also addressed some reasons Christians should care about personal development; about how it’s not just for those who are trying to become something like a corporate leader, but it’s profitable for everyone in every area of life, no matter what their current occupation may be. In this part, I will explore some of the benefits that I have discovered to come to one’s life when they pursue this concept of personal development.
New Discoveries about Yourself
We do not know all there is to know about everything, and part of that everything is ourselves. There are things about you and me that are good and there are things that are not so good. We often love to hear about the good and ignore the not so good, but make no mistake, it’s good to hear of the not so good as well so we can improve upon it and make it better and thus make our immediate world better as well.
In addition to discovering the not so good things, you will also discover some good things about you that you yourself may not have even known were there. John the Baptist said of Jesus in Matthew 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. This shows us that, as God is developing us personally (personal development), the Lord, by the Holy Spirit, will burn up the not so good things about us and will take the good things and, just like a farmer does with wheat, He will put those good things “…into the garner” and use those good things about us in His kingdom, but in order to do this He has to reveal them to us first! This is done through the lifelong process of personal development.
Higher Level of Self-Confidence
The virtue of self-confidence is one that, because of our fallen nature, we are not naturally endowed with; it has to be nurtured and grown. Another way of saying that statement is that self confidence has to be developed, on a personal level (are you seeing how simple the concept of personal development really is?). Again, it’s not a process-focused 30 Days to New Habits kind of thing, but a complete changing of who you are. Though you may already be saved, all things can still become new and you can keep becoming a new creation! Again I’ll remind you of the scripture 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
You’ll obtain this higher level of self-confidence when you start seeing the personal growth taking place in your life. You’ll start realizing that you do not have to keep yourself down on the lower levels of thinking, acting, and responding like those in the huddled masses who are constantly comparing themselves among themselves; something the great apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 10:12 is not wise.
With a higher level of self-confidence, you’ll not only abstain from carrying the constant fear that somebody somewhere disapproves of you, but you will go about it joyfully knowing you are growing into a more mature person than you currently are and you are no longer bound and tied down by those who need the approval of others to make them feel valuable; something no mortal person can truly do for another person anyway, no matter how hard they may try.
A More Optimistic Vision for the Future
An optimist is someone who usually sees the potential in something or someone. A pessimist is someone who usually sees the problem in something or someone. I believe we all possess a natural bending toward one of these two characteristics and it is through personal development that we will gain the power to see things in a more positive light. This by no means requires us to force ourselves to become naïve about things and act like negative things don’t exist. It is quite the contrary. We will still see the negative things about us, but we will have a more optimistic vision for our future because we know that if we get better, the future will get better along with us.
More Willingness to Try New Things
Trying new things, though it may be often talked about, is not something that is often accepted or appreciated when it is actually done. This is because by nature we tend to play it safe, and if something is outside the realm of comfortable thinking for those huddled masses I mentioned earlier, then something new will usually be looked upon with disdain.
I used to fall into the trap of fearing disapproval as well. I used to operate a blog back in around 2016. It was called Next Level Living, but because certain negative comments were made about it by people whom I respected at the time and was trying to make a connection with, I stopped doing it. I wish now that I wouldn’t have stopped, but I did because that’s where I was in my personal development at the time. I have learned a lot since then about myself and about others.
There will no doubt be people who don’t like the fact that I have a blog now because it’s different and new and they would never do something like that so I shouldn’t either. There may be those who think that I’m trying to lift myself up to some pedestal and outshine others, and that could not be further from the truth…and me knowing that and God knowing that is enough for me!
That’s the kind of comment Eliab made, to his younger brother David, when he said in 1 Samuel 17:28 …Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? (diminishes the value of David’s contribution) I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. (assumes he knows David’s motives).
David knew this was not his true motive and he responded with 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? Of course there was a cause, and there is still a cause today! I talked about that cause in Part 1 of this two-part series. Ultimately, the cause is to reach men and women with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I believe we should become more personally developed in the process! We can’t just stay the same! If things have been the same way with the same actions bringing the same results for months or years, God wants to develop us into what He has created us to be!
There may even be negative comments made about something new that you may try, but as you grow personally, and your mind matures along with that growth, the power of those comments and opinions will be less and less of a controlling factor in your life because you will have found a new source of power; the power of being developed personally into a higher level and more mature person!
Having Something Valuable to Give
This last part sounds a bit proud and self-serving, but hear me out on this one! It is a result of insecurity to look down upon yourself as not having anything valuable to give others. Again, this is how Eliab tried to portray David when he pointed out that David only had a few sheep. I have found that it’s usually those who say things like “Ahhh…I don’t really know anything” who are actually the most proud and unusable. There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing you possess a valuable skill set that will bring value into the lives of others, and that’s exactly how it should be used. Not to boast and brag about, but to bring value into the lives of others. This is what God wants for us and, as it’s been so often said, “You can’t give something until you have something” and our prayer is that, through God’s power and direction, both you and I can learn and grow so that we have something of value to give to others!