Just like a plant, our growth is affected the most by two things – what we take in from the environment around us, and how we then process that. Even though we can’t necessarily have complete control over who’s around us, we can control whose input we place value on. Plants filter what they need from the air and the soil, and you can make that same choice. Look around you at the people who crop up in your daily life. Take some time to assess who is godly, encouraging, and wise. Commit to listening closely to their words, while brushing off the bad advice and criticism of those who you know aren’t good for you. As the proverb says: ‘walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm’ (Proverbs 13:20 NIV). Secondly, even if the environment is perfect, if the plant’s internal processes aren’t functioning properly, then it can’t possibly use the nutrients around it to grow. It’s the same for us. We can do everything mentioned above, surround ourselves with great encouragement and wise teaching, but we won’t grow without our own individual relationship with God. We need to give ourselves time and space to grow with Him on a deep, personal level through spending time in that quiet place, getting to know His Word, praying, and listening for carefully His voice amongst our thoughts. As the Bible says, ‘Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him’ (Psalm 62:1 NIV). It’s through spending that time with God that we can fully grow into His love and grace, and know what being saved by Him really means.
If you can, go and buy a small potted plant of any kind. Keep it somewhere in your room, and make a commitment to pray and rest there next to your plant, regularly. Water it every time you do.