A father was talking with his daughter and her 5-year-old friend, Kristin, about birthdays. Kristin’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. The father said, “You know what Kristin? Our birthdays are three days apart!” She looked up at him and then said, “Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did!”

Why is it that some people grow faster spiritually than others? Why is it that some people make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and then fall away, while others make a commitment that lasts a lifetime?

It all comes down to doing everything we can to grow spiritually. We need to understand that there is God’s part and there is our part.

The Bible tells us to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12 nkjv). A more accurate translation of that verse would be, “Carry to the goal and fully complete.” What this means is we are “working out” what God has “worked in.”

But then that Scripture goes on to say, “For it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” Clearly there are some things only God can do, and some things only you can do. For instance, only God can save a person. Only God can forgive and forget our sins. Only God can change the human heart.

But at the same time, only I can believe. Only I can repent. Only I can follow.