The idea of spiritual growth is foreign to many people, not least in the areas of faith and love. We tend to speak of faith in static terms as something we either have or have not. 'I wish I had your faith,' we say, like 'I wish I had your complexion,' as if it were a genetic endowment. Or we complain 'I've lost my faith,' like 'I've lost my spectacles,' as if it were a commodity. But faith is a relationship of trust in God, and like all relationships is a living, dynamic, growing thing. There are degrees of faith, as Jesus implied when he said, 'You of little faith' and 'I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith' (Mt. 8:26, 10). It is similar with love. We assume rather helplessly that we either love somebody or we do not, and that we can do nothing about it. But love also, like faith, is a living relationship, whose growth we can take steps to nurture.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 214, by permission of InterVarsity Press. RIP JRW Stott