When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Spiritual growth is like learning to walk. We stand up, fall, stand up, fall, take a step, fall, take a couple steps, fall, walk a little better, wobble a bit, fall, run, and finally, eventually fly.
Today I want to speak on our growth process; we are always in different stages. We grow, and we change. For example, a 5 yr old likes toys and clowns, yet when they reach puberty around 12 yrs old, they won’t like clowns and toys anymore. The same is with us: at 21 we had a certain mind set and desire, than at 31. It is impossible to say we are the same people when we are 15 from when we are 30. We continue to develop and cultivate, because we are constantly digesting information. It depends on us whether we make the choice to develop, or if we get stuck along the way. Have you ever met 50 year old and 60 year old people, who hold on to their attitudes from when they were 21 or so? This is certainly not God’s desire for our lives, we are supposed to grow out of behaviors, customs and attitudes.
The stages of life are from prenatal period in the mother’s womb, infancy- toddler, childhood, puberty, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age, old age, seniority. Between the ages of 1 and 14: the physical dominates our life. We learn as babies and toddlers about food, affection and begin to interact according to hereditary influences (genetics & DNA). We adopt customs come from the family around us. This is the first training we receive as newborns into the earth. Then between the ages of 14 and 21: the psyche dominates our life. This is where feelings and desires take over and influence heavily how we view the world. This is where we build paradigms, and behavior patterns. Then from 21 to 35 years old, we begin to THINK. We begin to get ideas of the world around us, where or what we would like to experience and we begin to expand in general. Our atmosphere is heavily associated with our minds, influencing or directing our character, attitudes, intellectual attainments and other motivation/drive. And according to science the ages between 35 and 52, the spiritual cycle is awakened: meaning the amount or degree of self-knowledge one has about themselves and the application of that knowledge. Spiritual growth embraces humanity and human relations, the importance of love and servitude. We grow deeper into closeness with God, and are led by intuition instead of logic or emotion. It accelerates understanding, acceptance, and compassion towards self and others.
One of the worst yet popular things that happens to us in and because of society, is that we begin dating at a young age. When we date in UNDER-DEVELOPED stages, we accept love that is not for us, we give away much more with no understanding of our identity because we are still in developmental stages. And because we haven’t fully developed into we are supposed to be, especially get involved in sexual relations, we go through a lot of heartbreak and trauma, which inevitably causes self damage. At 16 years old, we are emotionally driven- and will continue to grow! We are not even thinking with our minds, and logic- we are concerned with our physical and emotional urges. Then at 25, we wonder why we are depressed, broken and old, we continue to learn yet we lose sight of our true desires (which lead to purpose) and identity. Life can traumatize us, when we forget that we are only at a stage in our life.
God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love, to become like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. When we grow up, we must leave infant ways for good. We are in a progression to eternal life, we are in preparation stage on earth. We can say that life on earth, heaven’s preparatory school. Some are in kindergarten, others graduating junior high, some are repeating courses in high school and some have gone on to undergraduate and graduate school! This too shall pass: everything in life is temporary. Except that one day when we get to heaven, things will no longer be a mystery. Things we knew about ourselves in limited way, we will know. We will know us just as God knows us.
Father God, Lord Jesus, sweet Holy Spirit I pray today for maturity. I know when I act childishly, and I recognize it in others as well. Thank you, for Holy Spirit who makes us more like Lord. I pray for those who continue to make the same foolish mistakes, and even pray the selfish prayers and those who throw tantrums in the way children do. I ask you to renew our minds, our hearts and convict our wills of your perfect will. Increase our wisdom, discernment and grace so that we may delight in you and in your precious have fullness of joy. In Jesus name, Amen.