My 20-month-old granddaughter epitomizes the value of vision. Because we don't live nearby, it is often months between our visits. The changes are remarkable at that age. What makes a baby want to grow and progress? Where does she get the vision to want to learn skills such as walking, talking, dressing herself, and feeding her doll?
A child's vision comes from watching her parents. When we talk to our kids, they begin to echo the sounds. As we dress them, they want to do it themselves. As they experience the love of parents who feed and protect them, they care for their dolls—and eventually their own children.
So how can you see a vision of the person you can become?
Ask yourself, "What should a Christian look like? What qualities and knowledge do I need to have to get there? What skills should I develop? What understanding of God do I need?"
Then look around for mature believers. Take note of those whom you respect. Talk to them and discover how they have grown. Read what they have read; spend time with God as they have. Ask them how God has worked in their lives.
Following others is beneficial, but the only person who embodies perfection is Jesus. So spend time in the Gospels and elsewhere in the Word, listening and learning what he is like, emulating his character, and allowing the Spirit to fill and empower you. Spiritual growth is a journey and our disciplined choices help you accelerate that growth.
As you grow into the person you envision, your spiritual influence grows as well. You will model what a follower of Jesus looks like for your children, your co-workers, your neighbors, and your friends.
As an older Christian I willingly sacrifice my time to put myself where I can interact with younger believers or those who haven’t yet come to faith in Christ. Ask yourself where you have an opportunity to influence others–a Bible study that their generation would like, a small group, a mission project, lunch with co-workers, or a neighborhood gathering? How can you help another woman or child envision what they can grow to become?
Imagine the influence you will have as you grow more and more like Jesus—not simply because you age but also because you have deliberately sought out people to help you and younger people to model the vision of a follower of Christ.
Share your ideas for growing vision. We would love to hear them!
This was originally posted on The Aroma of Influence 8/27/2013.