Love Allows for Growth
(Principle number 4)
God Takes Each Person’s Situation and Experience into Account
God is love. Love allows for growth.
There are tremendous lessons we can learn from raising children that can help us understand God’s dealings with us. Indeed, that may have been a part of the purpose in giving us the potential to have children. All along the way, in dealing with childhood development, we have to take into account what the child knows and can handle in terms of responsibility and in so many other ways.
Similarly, God takes our physical and spiritual growth into account
“The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Psa 87:6)
“And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.” (Mark 4:33)
In this verse, Jesus acknowledges that His disciples had progressed from servants to friends in their relationship to Him.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12)
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Cor 3:1-2)
“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:11-14)
God meets people where they are. One of the most obvious and important examples of this in scripture is that of God dealing with the children of Israel. They were children in many ways, especially spiritually. Coming out of Egypt they were a group of people who had no experience managing their own affairs on many levels. As slaves, much of what they did (the daily tally of bricks required etc.) was dictated to them by their taskmasters. They came from a culture and background vastly different from anything in our world today. We should not expect them to be or understand like us or for God to treat them like He treats us.
For a greater understanding of how God allows for growth:
Read this excellent illustration by Fred Wright of a father accommodating his son’s hunting habit – The Hunter Illustration.
Listen to Greg Boyd give a good example of accommodation by a missionary couple in Africa – Female Genital Mutilation. The story itself starts at a little after the 5-minute mark and lasts 5 minutes.
See a list of Biblical examples of how God accommodated Israel (and others) in their unique situations.