Spiritual growth is a gradual process, like a great tree, it will not reach maturity quickly. Gather wisdom and truth and be patient. Time is a factor.
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Second Corinthians 3:18
Many proverbs urge us to heed sound advice, to seek wisdom, to accept correction. Many promises are made to the one who is teachable and receptive. In vs. 20 above, there is an orientation toward the future. Various English translations differ as to whether the idea here is that instruction received now will result in your gaining wisdom in the future or gaining wisdom for the future. The difference is minor, and, either way, there is a certain dynamic going on. Time is a factor.
“Why do I need to learn this?” Teachers hear this question frequently. But children must learn information and skills for which they see no immediate or long-term purpose. Parents and other educators impart what they know will be useful to the child in later years. Children can whine and complain, but the failure to learn today’s lessons is likely to turn into regret in future years. Growth is gradual, but God tells us to store up knowledge and wisdom for the time when we will need it.
Paul gives a defense of his ministry here. He calls the Corinthian believers his “letter of recommendation” to any who might require proof of the authenticity of his apostleship. From that thought he launches into some paragraphs showing the superior glory of the ministry of the new covenant over the old. Moses would veil his face after meeting with God to hide the fading glory, but in the new covenant our faces are unveiled and the glory grows stronger rather than weaker. Again time is a factor.
Think about it
Perhaps you find your spiritual growth imperceptible, like watching an oak tree grow. Seek wisdom today. Be receptive to instruction, even when it seems irrelevant. Praise God for sending His Spirit to write on our hearts His truth. He is at work in you, believing friend, but the distance between one degree of glory and the next may not be immediately evident.