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Jeremiah 1:5 NIV 
2017-11-28Written by Bob and Debby Gass
Spiritual growth (3)
When we start criticising ourselves and our spiritual progress, we can hinder our spiritual growth. It can be tempting to focus on how far we've got left to go and how we fall short, rather than on how far we've come and the progress we've made. It's true that we all have more progress to make in our spiritual lives, but what's also true is that we're loved and accepted by God just as we are now. We don't need to see ourselves as unqualified and unworthy. The Bible says that we're 'no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household' (Ephesians 2:19 NIV). As members of his household, we belong. And that's not dependent on how much we've grown spiritually. When we remember who we are based on God's truth rather than how we feel about ourselves, we'll be able to function better as children of God. We'll be able to do what He calls us to do. And we'll be more open to God transforming us and leading us on spiritually. When God told Jeremiah He'd called him as a prophet to the nations, Jeremiah doubted God's calling, saying that he couldn't do it because he was too young, wasn't a good speaker, and didn't have enough experience. But God told him: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart' (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV). We shouldn't put ourselves down and think we're not good enough. We also shouldn't place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We can't, and won't ever, be perfect so let's not criticise ourselves when we fall short spiritually. Instead let's focus on how far we've come.
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