There are obstacles to spiritual growth. This article mentions fifty-three such obstacles.

Source: The Banner of Truth (NRC), 1982. 3 pages.

Impediments to Growth in Grace

  1. Unbelief.
  2. We refuse to mortify the flesh (Galatians 5:17) and forsake our folly (Ps. 85;8).
  3. We provide fuel for the lustings of the flesh (Rom. 13:14).
  4. We live for and unto self, rather than God (2 Cor. 5:15).
  5. We do not devote ourselves entirely to God (Gal. 3:27).
  6. We are not content with food and raiment but set our affections on things below (1 Tim. 6:8).Impediments to Growth in Grace
  7. We do not realize our need of crying to God continually for help, having so little knowledge of Satan's workings and of the many ways indwelling sin attacks the soul, leading it astray.
  8. We pay too little attention to the chastising and/or warning hand of God in providence (Micah 6:9).
  9. We do not humble ourselves beneath Jehovah's mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6).
  10. Our repentance is sluggish, not complete, and not in depth; its motivation is more that God might bless us than out of a true sorrow for sin.
  11. We are not watchful and ready, but yield to a spirit of compromise.
  12. We do not seek to truly know what God thinks of our actions, using Him for confirmation of our plans rather than for Divine guidance.
  13. We talk piously, but in practice we defend our sins, refusing to be humbled.
  14. We are too good to go to hell and too bad to go to heaven; we admit we are sinners but we do not own our transgressions before the tribunal of God.
  15. We treat Christianity as only something, whereas religion is either worth nothing or everything.
  16. We rely on church, doctrine, forms, ceremonies, feelings, actions, sacraments, and false righteousnesses instead of Christ.
  17. We study to form opinions, but it is truth that we need; we study theology, but it is God we need; we study Christianity, but it is Christ we need.
  18. We live as if this life were forever.
  19. We do not use the means properly, nor as often as we should, nor are we thankful that there are means to be used; we especially fall short in private prayer: in time (momentary praying), in concentration (wandering prayer), in quality (prayerless praying).
  20. We labor to say things with fine expressions contrary to 1 Cor. 1:17, 2:1, and 2:4.
  21. We do not rise early every day to see God before man.
  22. We examine ourselves haphazardly and shy from examining bosom sins that separate us from God.
  23. We speak about generalities to God and to man, avoiding particulars; we admit sinfulness but not death. We are professionals for producing an avalanche of excuses for every accusation brought against us.
  24. We make molehills mountains and mountains molehills.Impediments to Growth in Grace
  25. We abuse rather than improve the talents God has given us.
  26. We convince others and ourselves to think much of self, thereby making God think nothing of us (Luke 16:15).
  27. We seek our own glory even when talking about the way of salvation in Christ, thereby making a mockery of Him.
  28. We remain hard-hearted, unthankful, worldly in a continuous stream of blessings; we slap God's face with His own blessings.
  29. We waste time.
  30. Our unconcern for our own souls is a reflection of how little we are concerned about living in, living to, and living out of Christ.
  31. We creep like a snail, while the devil roars like a lion.
  32. We expect so little from a God who is able to give so much.
  33. We are road signs that point out the way, but never move an inch in that direction.
  34. We fail miserably in intercessory prayer.
  35. Our tongues are more active than our hearts; hence, our public prayers are more to man than to God.
  36. We are poor at extracting spiritual things from earthly things.
  37. Though only at the beginning of the way and far too fruitless, we often think we have been led far and that we are in that group that gives fruit one hundred-fold.
  38. We possess a refined hypocrisy: we are more interested in learning the language of God's people than experiencing it and partaking of their exercises.
  39. We confess sin and make vows, but both are often artificial because the confessing is without repentance and the vowing without reformation.
  40. Presumption is one of grace's greatest impediments, but we are prone to presume in spite of God's silence; we presume we can withstand and overcome trials, temptations, and weaknes­ses in our own strength, in spite of our many falls.
  41. We do not imitate Christ nor strive to be holy, but often minimize sin and do not go to Christ for cleansing and forgiveness.
  42. We embrace our experiences instead of Christ, laying them out on our own blueprints.
  43. We do not examine ourselves in the right way nor as often as we should, and we examine Christ even less.
  44. Our awareness to our backslidings is sluggish, and the reformation it produces is inadequate, lacking the right sense of urgency.
  45. We do not live as dying people.
  46. Our study of spiritual things has become more dogmatical than devotional; therefore, we can pick up an edifying volume to read without first asking for a blessing.
  47. We have grieved the Holy Spirit by minimizing Him and our dependence upon Him; by the inconsistency of our work, worldly mindedness, prayerlessness, and unfaithfulness; by not realizing the seriousness of life and eternity; by our entire lives and conversation.
  48. We will not spend and be spent in Christ's cause.Impediments to Growth in Grace
  49. We do not persevere in Bible study the way we should, forgetting what Jonathan Edwards wrote, "The more faithful I am in studying the Bible the more I prosper in spiritual things."
  50. We do not admonish each other with love.
  51. We make the Gospel call complicated.
  52. We blame our listlessness, coldness, and dead­ness on the dark times, often directly or indi­rectly blaming the Holy Spirit, not realizing that the dark times has its root in our hearts.
  53. We forget God and Christ, who He is and who we were, are, and remain.

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