Spiritual growth is not a personal or private matter, says Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren. Christians should not attempt to take their spiritual walk alone, but should grow within the context of a spiritual family.
In the pastor's Daily Hope devotional on Monday, the California pastor said that the concept of the spiritual development of a Christian as being a private matter is an aberration from the truth, and that this mindset prevents believers from developing accountability or relationships with others. Relationships, he emphasized, are necessary to grow.
"The idolatry of individualism has influenced even the way we think about spiritual growth," Warren noted. "So much of the teaching on spiritual formation is self-centered and self-focused without any reference to our relationship to other Christians." The best-selling author said that trying to develop in isolation goes against the New Testament.
In part one of his radio broadcast titled "Setting Personal Goals By Faith," Warren referred to Ecclesiastes 4:12: "By yourself you're unprotected. But with a friend you can face the worst. And a group of three is even better because a rope braided with three strands is not easily snapped!"
In a previous Daily Devotional, The Christian Post reported on how Warren highlighted the symbolism of coming together through the body of Christ in Ephesians 2:16, "Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of His death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death" (NLT, second edition).
In Monday's devotional, the pastor pointed to Hebrews 10:24-25: "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."