Businesses pour a lot of energy and resources into monitoring and measuring growth. It’s what they call “metrics.” There are metrics for sales, marketing, social media, growth, income, revenue, costs, website traffic, inventory, customer satisfaction, employee turnover, etc.

Regarding metrics, Seth Godin (entrepreneur & author) says, “Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t mean it’s important.” Metrics deal with quantity and not necessarily with quality. Something may be big, but is it good? Is it worthwhile? Is it important?

As Christians we face a similar challenge. As Christians, we’re in the business of spiritual growth. But how do we measure that? The most important indicators of spiritual growth are qualitative, not quantitative. That means that spiritual growth is sometimes hard to measure.

Peter said, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2 Peter 1.2-11).

Peter gives us a set of spiritual metrics, things we should monitor: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. He tells us that if we track these things and practice them, spiritual growth will happen. 

He even tells us in this text what that spiritual growth looks like: a true and intimate knowledge of God; looking more like God and less like the world; bearing fruit; and being able to handle temptation. These qualities are the evidence of spiritual growth.

The takeaway is this: God has given us the metrics we need to grow in the right way. Our task is to use them in the right way.