A friend recently texted, as a joke, “Calvinism is true because I’m bigger than you.”
But being big has advantages.
Being obese is unhealthy. And being too tall can be harder on your heart as you age.
But being physically bigger is good.
Height provides advantages to lawyers, salesmen, teachers, principals, managers, and most athletes.
Not only so, more muscle mass makes you harder to kill, even for diseases.
It makes you look more competent, to an extent more attractive, and requires a lifestyle that will typically improve your health all around.
Becoming more expansive in your way of thinking, more capable of entertaining new evidence, strange ideas, or unexpected outcomes is generally better.
Reading more books, though not too many, gives you the thought world of another person without your having to go through their experiences.
Learning new skills gives you more opportunities to make money, to bless others, and to have fun. Man was made to tend to things, this can only be done with a skilled and active mind, lest reality become boring.
Growing bigger spiritually is something like this: “with every challenge or disaster, you learn to conform ever so slightly more to the logos or to nature in order to avoid that disaster next time.” This is very close to what Marcus Aurelius says. Jordan Peterson also says something like it. So do Nemeck and Coombs in their books.
For the Christian the spiritual growth must go further than this because the logos is not only available in nature, but is specified in Jesus Christ and revealed in bits and pieces through the Bible as well. And so we not only grow spiritually by seeking to avoid the catastrophes of nature in order to perfect our will and then impose it upon the world, but we also conform ourselves to the character and calling of Christ.
To grow bigger in the Christian sense is in some ways to shrink as Christ grows in our estimation (John 3:30). It is to go into the depths of ourselves and say no to every evil thing which resides there. But it is also to grow larger than we could imagine as we approach the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). There is often a chasm in the teaching of the church between the aspirational values of Proverbs and the condescension pattern set by Christ. In reality they are not opposed but in a hierarchy. But my main point is this, when the Christian faces the disasters of life and responds with love to God it will work to the good, especially the good of becoming like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29).