If Jesus was called the Great Counselor, it shouldn’t be a surprise to people that he had a psychological template for what unhindered growth should be like in a person’s life. Right?

Well, I think I’ve found that template in the Bible. Tell me if it aligns with what you’ve understood about life so far.

Journey Of Champions created a faith-based project called GroUP (Grow Up). It’s a personal development dialogue group framed by Mark 4: 1-32.

group w verse

The framework that I’ll show you in a short while guides the process of personal development as people are growing towards what they have recognized as important for their lives. Here, in a quick synopsis, is what I’ve found.

First off, let’s get these questions Jesus asked out of the way. You may want to follow along in a Bible. This was the catalyst that made me find this framework. In Mark 4: 13 (KJV) Jesus asked,

“…Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?”

Let’s make quick work of this so as not to make this post too long. There are two different Greek words in this verse for the word “know”. The first “know” means to fully understand, while the second “know” carries with it the idea of progress (like getting to know progressively through application). Jesus was saying that if you can’t fully understand the parable in Mark 4, how can you begin to progressively apply any other parable that I will reveal to you? How would you be able to apply the principles I’ll reveal to your life if you don’t fully understand this one?

To experience what I think you would need to experience to get this, let’s imagine we were at a conference where a speaker was presenting. Now, let’s quickly bring out the 3 things that will hinder your growth found in The Gospel Of Mark chapter 4.

The THREE obstacles are:

Not Understanding (verse 15)
The person was speaking but either you weren’t paying attention or you just didn’t care to try to understand what was being said. I’ve met many people who fall into this category. They can sit in the room and hear something but they never really grasped it nor would they ask for explanations. If you really want to grow, you must first make sure you understand what’s being said.

Understanding plants the seed in your heart.

No Personal Identity (verses 16-17)
There are some of us who, after we hear a great point or message, would leave the event with all the right intentions but then something happens. We get around some other person who doesn’t believe that the word you heard is beneficial and they make fun of you for even going to the event. They make fun of you for thinking that you could do (fill in the blank). You, in time, get offended and throw away the piece of advice. Why does this happen to people? Because our identity, often times, is wrapped up in what other people think about us and is not settled in ourselves.

Having a settled personal identity roots the seed into your life.

Easily Distracted Attention (verses 18-19)
Some people can leave a conference, understand what was said, have it rooted in themselves, and as time goes on and as growth begins, their focus fades. So many things come up as we live life and we get overly and yet responsibly anxious about them. Some things happen that are just greedy distractions that pull us away from the value of the word received. Some things shift our focus because we tend to chase what feels good in the moment instead of what we eventually would like to see happen. All of these things crowd our attention and our growth stops.

Being able to direct and sustain your attention will make you grow and produce a life, behavior, or service at its best.

And being able to hear and go through the process of these three mental stations will create a heart that will be successful in whatever it puts within its grasp. That’s why the scriptures say, Take Heed What You Hear. #PushForward

This is the process you must FULLY UNDERSTAND…and it’s where the meanings from all other parables must travel in order to see their principles manifested in your life. Are you ready to GroUp?!



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