The title is not mine but comes from a series of articles I recently discovered. While reading through the “Letters to Stagnant Christians,” I found them both convicting and insightful. The author, David De Bruyn, is a Reformed Baptist pastor in South Africa. Though the context in which he ministers might seem a world away, his “letters” prove that the same spiritual struggles stymie Christian growth and maturity across ethnic, national, and cultural boundaries. I will be posting a new “letter” a few times each week until we catch up in the series.

Here is a sample of the third, followed by a link to the original article:

Dear Susan,

I really am pleased with the growing interest among believers in our church to break out of their spiritual ruts. I am glad if I can help any Christian climb out of a ditch of stagnation.

The great difficulty with stagnation is that the things that are holding us back have usually become invisible to us, either because we see them as normal and natural, or because the force of habit has rendered them so familiar as to be barely noticeable. Your situation is one of these, which means you must allow me to back up a little, and give you some context.

You have always been a conscientious person. I remember when you were in school, and then later in varsity, you were fastidious about studying, being present for every meeting, practice, or event. You appeared to have a horror of putting a foot wrong, and worked hard to always do what was required. This approach to life has mostly brought you the commendation of your parents, teachers and superiors. Being conscientious has seemed to you to be almost synonymous with obedience to God and holiness.

“Letters to Stagnant Christians #3: Conscientious Defensiveness”

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