Use these Bible verses about growth & progress to see what Scripture says about where to start, how to grow, & what to do when you’re stuck.
It’s always amazing to me how much wisdom the Bible has to offer when you dive into a certain topic. Bible verses cover so much ground but still apply to so many specific situations.
No matter what situation you are in, there’s a verse for that.
In this topic of growth, you could be looking for the verses below because you are:
- trying to break patterns of sin
- looking to deepen your relationship with God
- working to grow in your marriage
- learning how to improve your parenting
- figuring out how to grow in your ministry or career
- wanting to become a better friend or sister
- recovering from a broken relationship
- mentoring someone in your life and want to help them grow
There are a thousand areas you could be wanting to grow in and, the best part about all of the Bible verses below is that they all assure you that there is so much hope for you to grow.
Whether you feel stuck, you feel like a failure, you’re frustrated with yourself for repeating old patterns, you’re so discouraged by how slowly you are growing, or you’re feeling discouraged and hopeless…read on.
There is so much encouragement, direction, wisdom, and hope in the Scripture below.
All of the verses below are from the NIV translation.
Scriptures About Growth
Hebrews 5:12-14 – Where To Begin? Start Where You Are
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.Hebrews 5:12-14
This particular verse is a rebuke to those who should have been more mature in their faith, but I actually think there’s more we can learn from it.
First, it is pointing out that we shouldn’t feel satisfied with milk forever. As we grow, so should our hunger for God’s Word, and our hunger for spiritual maturity in our marriages, parenting, work, and more.
This falls perfectly in line with a growth mindset, which focuses your thoughts on brainstorming solutions, growth and improvement, and hope for a better future vs a fixed mindset that convinces you that who you are today is the only person you will ever be with no hope for growth, change, or improvement.
Second, I think this verse beautifully lays out a common mishap that happens with our hearts in our culture of instant gratification culture – we see what we want to grow into and decide to skip 100 steps to get there.
Start right where you are. Start by feeding yourself milk before you jump to solid food. You’ll get there, just let yourself grow into it.
If you’re just starting a weight loss journey, don’t jump off of the couch and try to run a marathon. Start with walking around the block and slowly push yourself to grow from there.
It takes time to mature in every area of your life, and you can, and should, continue to grow to be more and more like Christ.
1 Peter 2:2-3 – Taste That The Lord Is Good & Grow
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.1 Peter 2:2-3
Experiencing the Lord’s goodness ourselves first is critical to our growth. First, we have to taste His goodness for ourselves.
Only then can we grow and share that goodness with others in a multitude of ways.
Hebrews 6:1 – Strive For More
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,Hebrews 6:1
As this verse continues in Hebrews, it lists “dead works” – rules and rituals they were relying on to save them instead of Jesus.
The author is essentially saying that following the rules and rituals is just the elementary level of the teachings of Christ.
Going to church, singing worship music, and having quiet times are all good things, but there is a deeper relationship to be found there for a mature faith.
And that is what we should continue to strive for – to move beyond whatever we know about God today and thirst and strive for more.
2 Corinthians 9:10 – We Grow Because God Gives
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.2 Corinthians 9:10
In this verse, Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to give generously out of love, not legalism, and also to remember that we can give to others because, ultimately, God gave to us first.
Our efforts matter. Partnering with God in His Kingdom word is important and He created us to bring some valuable things to the table.
But it’s important to remember that He is the ultimate source of everything good you have to offer. Your growth will always stem from Him first.
God is the One equipping you to give – in your relationships, in your work, in your ministry, and in your strengths. And God has this Divinely generous way of multiplying our results to increase our “harvest.”
It’s not wrong to turn to self-help books, personal trainers, business coaches, and ministry mentors, but don’t turn to those things first, before turning to the Lord.
This leads us perfectly into the next verse.
John 15:5 – Abiding Is The Only Way To Grow
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5
We are so quick to beat ourselves up for:
- not having enough self-control/patience/energy
- not doing enough with our time, trying to pack it to the gills with as many things as we can so we don’t miss out on a thing
- not being enough – strong enough, skinny enough, confident enough, talented enough
But the message in this verse is clear. We don’t get the most out of life when we have enough, when we do enough, or when we are enough.
Our best, most fruitful, most satisfying lives can only come from remaining in God.
Abiding in Him.
I remind myself of this every time I try to fix my problem by adding one more thing to my to-do list or when I’m tempted to blame my husband for not meeting my needs.
My schedule is full enough and my husband will never be able to meet a need that can only be satisfied by abiding in the Lord.
He alone is worthy and that connection with Him will be what reminds you of your unfailing worth, as well.
James 1:2-4 – The Value Of Perseverance
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.James 1:2-4
I know the main focus of this verse is usually about changing your perspective to find joy in hardship, but I’d like to challenge you to see also see it from a slightly different angle.
This entire Bible verse is describing the process of growth. As I mentioned earlier, most of us don’t want growth to be a process. We want a quick fix! We want our actions to instantly match our intentions and we really don’t want to wait.
But God’s design for growth is so much deeper. His plan doesn’t promise a life free of trials, but instead a plan to equip you for the trials you face, as you rely on Him to be the source of your strength.
It’s not just about reaping the benefits (a happier marriage, a better relationship with food, a more successful ministry), but it’s also about developing your character. When you develop perseverance, it doesn’t just help you in that particular moment. It’s a trait that continues to serve you well in every area of your life, making you more and more like Jesus.
I think all of us yearn to feel complete. Mature. Lacking nothing. But the journey to get there looks so different than what we usually picture.
Because God has such a broader picture than we can possibly see. He knows exactly what we need and that isn’t always what makes us the most comfortable.
Philippians 1:9 – Growth In Relationships
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,Philippians 1:9
We’ve already established that abiding in God first is the most important thing, but the Bible still lays out some ways for us to continue to grow our love for others.
It’s not a guide to flirting or how to feel happier in your marriage, but this verse describes that your love abounds more and more when there is knowledge and depth of insight.
Whether you are trying to improve your love toward your spouse, your child, your estranged sister, or an acquaintance who doesn’t know Jesus, it’s always helpful to learn more about them and get curious.
- What have they been through that led them here?
- What are they feeling right now? Why?
- What are they lacking?
- What are they looking for?
Just those questions alone can bring your relationships to a deeper level of growth and understanding.
1 Timothy 4:15
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.1 Timothy 4:15
While there is a very spiritual, deeper edge to growth that many people skip over, there is also a very practical side of growth.
After abiding in God, growth requires action. Diligence.
This is what takes your inner transformation outward and makes it visible to others. It’s one thing to know the right thing to do and another to act it out.
Come up with a plan to put everything God has been teaching you in this area into action and live it out.
2 Peter 3:18 – Grow In Grace And Knowledge
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.2 Peter 3:18
I wanted to include the Bible verses that mentioned specific ways for us to grow in this list to make sure I didn’t miss any key components.
And, of course, when you are talking about faith in Jesus Christ, a key component is grace!
The only way for us to grow in grace is to stick so closely to the Lord. Grace cannot come solely from us. It is something we have to first experience with God ourselves and then allow that experience to overflow into others in our lives who don’t deserve it.
Colossians 2:6-7 – Growth Is A Process
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.Colossians 2:6-7
Continue to live in him.
Just as accepting Christ isn’t a one-time experience, the things you are trying to grow in aren’t either. Improving your marriage is not achieved in one counseling session. Improving your business doesn’t happen in one inspirational seminar.
Growth is a process and it’s laid out so well here – root yourself in Christ, build yourself upon Him alone, continue to strengthen your faith, and overflow with thankfulness.
Philippians 3:12-14 – Forgetting What Is Behind And Straining Toward What Is Ahead
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:12-14
I am a big believer in learning from past mistakes, but there is a big difference between learning from past mistakes and dwelling on past mistakes (and, unfortunately, I do that quite well, too!).
I love the encouragement here to forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead because it takes the pressure off. Beating yourself up over past mistakes won’t change the past. Time travel isn’t an option, so mentally staying stuck in the past isn’t serving anyone.
Moving forward on a better path, though? That can change everything. It keeps us clinging to hope and moving toward growth and change and a better future.
Romans 5:3-5 – Perseverance Grows…
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.Romans 5:3-5
Remember when we talked about the value of perseverance earlier? Good news…there’s more!
Perseverance creates this chain reaction – if we continue to develop perseverance, it continues to grow our character, and as our character grows, so does our hope.
And hope is something that fuels growth like crazy.
Galatians 6:9 – Every Good Choice You Make Matters
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
That hope we just talked about is exactly what this verse is encouraging us to cling to.
It’s this beautiful reminder that, even if we don’t feel like it, every good, faithful, diligent, wise choice you make matters.
You just might not be able to see the effects yet.
Isaiah 40:31 – Hope Renews Strength
but those who hope in the LordIsaiah 40:31
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
As I said, hope fuels growth like crazy.
Have you lost your motivation? Feeling discouraged? Can’t seem to find your footing? Not sure what your next step is?
Your hope in the Lord is a great way to renew your strength.
Galatians 3:3 – Are You Trying To Attain Your Goal By Human Effort?
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?Galatians 3:3
I wanted to include another reminder later on in the list of verses with this reminder – it doesn’t all depend on you.
Your actions and your diligence matter, but don’t forget that all good things come from the Lord. Don’t try to take the full burden of your goal and growth on your shoulders alone.
You were never meant to do it alone. You were meant to do it fueled by His strength alone.
Proverbs 1:5 – Always Be Willing To Learn
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidanceProverbs 1:5
I think it’s important to note that there will never be a time in this life when we have “arrived.” We will never be all-knowing, which means this life is a constant learning process.
We should always humbly be willing to listen, learn, and receive guidance to continue our own growth.
Luke 8:14-15 – Nurture
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.Luke 8:14-15
I wanted to include this because it paints a very vivid picture of what often happens to us. We will have a big dream, but as time goes on, things happen. Life’s worries slowly suck the life out of those big dreams.
But they don’t have to.
Nurturing that dream with perseverance, in good soil, and with a heart dependent on the Lord produces a crop.
Colossians 1:9-10 – Grow In The Knowledge Of God
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,Colossians 1:9-10
As I said, I really wanted to include verses here that specifically mentioned the word “grow.”
This verse talks about growing in the knowledge of God, which is also a way to live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him.
Ephesians 4:15 – Grow To Be More Like Christ
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.Ephesians 4:15
This Bible verse is a reminder of our ultimate goal. No matter what area you are trying to grow in right now, the deeper, ultimate goal is to continue to grow to be more and more like Christ.
Job 8:7 – Humble Beginnings Are Normal
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.Job 8:7
I included this final verse as a gentle reminder that, wherever you are now, you don’t need to feel ashamed. Your beginnings will seem humble...because it’s just the beginning!
Not necessarily the beginning of your life, your walk with God, or your career, but it’s just the beginning of this new season of growth in this particular area for you.
There is no shame in humble beginnings. In fact, they make the best before and after transformation stories!