The Bible uses many analogies to help us understand the Christian life. For instance, Hebrews 12:1 likens the Christian life to a race, a marathon race, which requires long, steady endurance (Heb. 12:1). Galatians 5:16 pictures the Christian life as a walk; it tells us to walk in the Spirit; we do that by taking a series of successful steps of obedience. Elsewhere the Christian life is likened to taking off and putting on garments—we take off the old patterns and put on the new (Eph. 4:22-24). No believer is ever where he will be. That is because we are always conforming to the image of Christ. Since we are ever growing, encourage one another in that growth.
Peter ends his second epistle with a command: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). The word grow is in the present tense, which means it is always to be happening. Paul told Timothy to “exercise thyself unto godliness” (I Tim. 4:7). Exercising is strenuous activity that requires discipline. Again, this verb in in the present tense—an ongoing activity.
Be encouraged at the spiritual growth you see in your own life. But also encourage the brethren in their walk with the Lord. It’s a long race that requires a lot of changing. As you talk with one another and edify one another, praise the Lord for each other’s victories. And remember, all of us are still growing.