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Growth is not a passive journey. It takes intentional effort to become all God has called us to be. And this requires us to take those initial sparks of our gifts and fan them into flames.

Campfires provide light, and warmth, and a way to prepare our food while outdoors. But this is a usefulness that must be cultivated. What starts off as a small spark is nurtured and fed with the proper tinder and kindling before it eventually grows into a fire large enough to meet our needs. And a similar approach is needed throughout our life and relationships.

For instance, a natural gifting in a particular area doesn’t automatically mean we will be effective in making a difference. We must steward and put our potential to the test to actualize it. Certainly, this will include learning from others, and it will likely also require many failures as we find our way forward. We must regularly put into practice the gifts God has given us to become a roaring and useful fire.

Likewise, the initial spark of marriage, or even friendship, eventually dies if it’s not also fanned into a sustaining fire. It’s easy to assume what drew us to each other at first will carry us throughout. But a healthy and thriving relationship requires effort. To be sure, this is spending consistent quality time together. And it also requires a willingness to keep learning ourselves and staying curious about the other during each season of life. We stoke our relational fires by not assuming we’ve discovered all there is to know about each other. And each new discovery strengthens our bonds of connection.

Whatever it looks like, we shortchange our potential when we don’t actively seek to grow into flames the sparks God has given us.

Growth is optional and a life of impact is not guaranteed. Fan into flames the good God has given you to do and make a difference throughout your life and relationships. 

Photo by Colter Olmstead on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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