The Gift of Growth

blog Jan 04, 2024

By Abram Gomez

“Mijo, you are going to be somebody when you grow up.”

Those were the words that I heard from my dad on many occasions while growing up in the small town of Itasca, Texas. Known as the “big little town,” there was nothing fancy about Itasca. With one blinking light and Dairy Queen (at least when I was growing up), there wasn’t much to offer except family and friends.

In Hispanic culture, “mijo” is often used as an affectionate term of endearment to address a son. My dad planted such seeds in my heart so often that I actually believed him. It’s amazing what affirming words from a father can do for you. Quite honestly, I didn’t really know how or where or when, but I just knew that I was set apart for something in this life.

But the journey of personal fulfillment and success isn’t always easy or even understood. We tend to overestimate the moment and underestimate the process, valuing self-discovery over development. If you had told me that one of the biggest difference makers in my life would be a commitment to personal growth, I would have been confused. You see, I grew up in a church setting where all you needed was a calling and the anointing, and you were set. Nobody told me that I would need to continually develop myself. Daily and weekly. Year after year. I thought if I just kept attending church, I would grow.

Fact check: You can grow by attending church, but you have to do your part. To be faithful, keep showing up. To be fruitful, keep growing up. To be fulfilled, keep moving up. Move up by increasing your understanding. Move up by cultivating your craft and gift. Move up by enlarging your heart. Move up by expanding your mindset.

You see, growth doesn’t happen on its own. In order to reach your highest level of potential, you have to be determined to grow yourself. And, I have learned that your personal growth is the gift that keeps on giving.


For some, personal growth and faith may not be related, but I see them as walking together. After all, we are instructed to nourish and grow our faith. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a). Sounds simple enough, but I am also challenged to grow in who I am called to be:

“And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people” (1 Samuel 2:26).

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:14-15).

The Bible consistently points to growth. The Israelites grew and multiplied. The early church grew, and many were added daily. We are part of a kingdom to which there is no end. Even Jesus grew in wisdom and in favor. Salvation is your starting point, but it’s not where you end. Once people were set apart in Scripture for God’s special use, they grew and went on to do great exploits.


Have you ever heard the phrase, “God can use anyone?” Yep, me too. And truth is, He can and He will! But I have observed, in the Bible and in real life, that He uses those who have been prepared by His process and those who have also prepared themselves in a greater capacity. Let me explain:

Ability + Anointing + Availability =  🔥

Other than Jesus, two of the most iconic Bible characters are Moses and Paul—one found in the Old Testament and the other in the New Testament. Moses went from being a baby born into slavery to becoming the great deliverer of the nation of Israel. God raised him up in such a way that he would become the lawgiver for God’s people and lead them to the edge of the Promised Land.

We think of Moses as being a great leader, but where was Moses trained? Where was he educated? Remember, he grew up in the courts of Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the earth during his time. The exposure that Moses received to government, education, people and other significant factors was invaluable. Acts 7:22 states, “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”

And Paul? Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament, and his writings continue to impact people of faith all around the world. At one time Paul was a blasphemer and a persecutor of the early church, but God, in His infinite mercy, saved him and used him to spread the gospel to the known world and the Gentiles. So, was Paul trained? Did he have any special skills or talents? God needed someone who could refute opponents of the gospel with conviction and intelligence. He needed someone who possessed the grit and determination to push the church forward in areas with fortified spiritual walls and hardened hearts. And who better than Paul? Check out his training in Acts 22:3-5:

I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

In other words, Paul was not just anyone. He had been built for his moment in time. God has a way of preparing people for their prepared assignment and moment.


So, why should you grow? Because your purpose demands it. Your audience awaits it. And your mission requires it. If God is going to use your life to your highest potential, it is going to require a commitment from you to develop yourself.

Your gift will make a room for you and bring you before great people. I had no clue what God had for me in my future at an early age, but I knew He had something. Once I encountered John Maxwell’s book on personal growth (The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth), I was hooked. You mean academics and anointing can work together? You mean I can grow mentally and spiritually? A prepared person in the hands of the Lord is a threat to the kingdom of darkness.

Some will say, “I am not a leader,” “I wasn’t born a leader,” “I have made too many mistakes” or “I don’t know how to grow.”

All of these are not just excuses, but they are thieves. They steal your potential. They rob you of your opportunities. They highjack your future.


Your personal growth is the gift that keeps on giving. Today, I help lead one of the largest Hispanic-led churches in the United States in deep south Texas: Cross Church. Our church has left a mark in our region and beyond, and the future is bright. I have obtained several degrees, written my first book (with more to come), and have written curriculum being used in Bible schools around the world.

How? Because God is good, and I believe in myself enough to invest in myself. Your growth is not going to happen without several things.

  1. Your belief. This has to do with mindset. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
  2. Your investment. This has to do with the price you are willing to pay. If you believe in yourself, won’t you invest in yourself? Pay the price for growth. Growth will pay you back.
  3. Your focus. This has to do with singularity of purpose. Paul said to give yourself entirely to “these” things. What have you thrown your life into?

I will give you one last verse from Scripture for motivation. Proverbs 22:29 says, “Observe people who are good at their work—skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don’t take a backseat to anyone” (The Message).

There are people waiting for you to become who you are meant to be. Go set them free!


Look out for Abram Gomez's latest book, Personal Growth is Personal.

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