The role of attitude in spiritual growth

On Monday, I tried something new.  Using the cool new Google Hang-Out technology, I recorded a conversation with 3 friends.  My thought was this:  Wouldn’t it be cool to sit in on a conversation about intentional spiritual growth with some interesting people who have something relevant to say?  So, this is the first one.  There will be more!  Without further ado:

Conversation for Growth #1

The role of Attitude in Spiritual Growth

45 minutes.   Ephesians 4 suggests that God’s purpose is that we would grow up in the image of Christ.  So why is it that so many people call themselves Christians, but don’t seem to experience real growth and transformation.  There are probably many factors, but in this conversation we want to explore how attitude plays a part in limiting or accelerating our growth.  

Points of interest in the discussion

  • The attitude with which we come to growth.
  • How does attitude tie into discipleship.
  • How rare it is that Christians today seem to be interested in personal growth.
  • The role of self-reflection in spiritual maturity.
  • Our ability to choose the meaning we give to the circumstances of our lives.
  • How Jesus often stops the conversation when it comes to growth.
  • The necessity of hope, humility and surrender in spiritual growth.

Interesting Quotes:

  • “Folks often define spiritual growth as collecting information…  but it takes time, it’s a process, you can’t rush it.” @sovannpen (Tweet that.)
  • “People who are growing spiritually seem to have a different attitude from people who aren’t.”@schelske (Tweet that.)
  • “The key decision is whether or not stuff happens to me or if I get to choose stuff… You can choose your mindset.”  @sovannpen (Tweet that.)
  • “If I choose to make the change, then I have the potential to rise above the place of constant turmoil and suffering.”  @gregorypnelson (Tweet that.)
  • “If my insides and my outsides don’t match, then I’m out of alignment and I have stress.  I’m living a lie.”  @gwalter (Tweet that.)
  • “There are some people who would rather have the checklist than have Jesus.”  @gwalter (Tweet that.)
  • “Hope and humility go hand in hand.” @Sovannpen (Tweet that.)
  • “It’s what we put attention on that shapes the brain.  By beholding we become changed.”  @gregorypnelson (Tweet that.)

In the Conversation

These folks are interesting and have something useful to say in the realm of personal and spiritual growth.  Here’s where you can find and connect with them online:

  • Gary Walter – Gary is a paramedic, former pastor, writer, speaker, mentor and professor, based in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Gary is an internet citizen online lots of places.  Start here:
  • Greg Nelson – Greg is a speaker, writer, strength coach and pastor, based in San Francisco.  Find him at
  • Sovann Pen – Sovann is a counselor, pre-marital counselor and sleep specialist.  He’s also a ministry leader in Portland, OR.  He counsels at and is on twitter at @sovannpen.

Questions to consider:

Attitude is an important aspect of your spiritual growth.  Take some time to reflect on your attitude.  Read this post: Don’t let your attitude derail your purpose.  Then think through these questions:

  1. What does it take for me to grow as a human being?
  2. Take a look at 1st Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:20 and ask yourself, “Are these things increasing in my life or not?”
  3. Do you have a certain phrase come up over and over in your mind as a roadblock like, “but the problem is…”  Is it possible that you have an attitude that’s getting in the way of your growth?

Discuss: In the comments below, share how attitude has helped or hindered your spiritual growth.

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