Stages of Mature Development

Through the years I have watched the development of my children with great curiosity.  With each new step in their growth I have seen changes in their actions that are interesting.  Many of their transitions parallel the spiritual growth people experience.

Stage One – Feed Me.  Those early years are hard because children need you to do everything for them.

Stage Two – Feed Yourself.  With age comes independence.  It begins by placing a prepared plate in front of a child and letting them use their fork and spoon.  Eventually it moves to greater responsibility.  My children are now old enough that I can tell them to cook themselves an egg if they are hungry.  They can make their own sandwich.  Sure, I am still helping out, but soon they will leave my house (hopefully) and they will assume 100% responsibility to feed themselves.

Stage Three – Feed Others.  I know that in the future they will each get married and start their own family.  They will assume responsibility for one another.  They will have guests into their home.  Then one day they will have little mouths to feed.

These developments physically seem very natural and we would actually be very concerned if they did not happen.  Yet, spiritually speaking, I see this development less and less.  In fact, I hear people all the time saying, “I just need to be fed.”  Usually this means I want to sit in worship and not get involved.  It means we want to attend a small group and not lead one.  It  means that I will let someone else assume responsibility for my development.

A huge part of both natural and spiritual development is the ever increasing ability to take care of myself and others.  Adult children sitting in a high chair while their mom “makes the airplane spoon circle the runway until it lands in the hanger” is a tragic and painful sight.  It is equally tragic that people who have been Christians for years have no clue how to read their Bible, discover what it means, apply it to their life and then teach it to someone else.

So let me ask you a couple questions:

Are you dependent on other people to teach you about a life of faith and developing a Biblical knowledge?

Are you teaching anyone else what you are learning?   Who is depending on you until they grow enough to feed themselves?

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