As travelers on the spiritual path, we may find it helpful to use the stages described by both Fowler and Peck to reflect on ourselves and our relationship to the Ancient Wisdom as represented by the Theosophical Society. As one is able to reflect on one's own beliefs, there is an openness to a new complexity of faith, but this also increases the awareness of conflicts in one's belief. In fact, at least five of the common claims we make about having spiritual maturity actually show you lack it. Many of these are called stage theories because they discuss the development of individuals as they pass through various stages. In secular Greek teleios means also: i adult, full-grown, as opposed to immature and infantile, and ii , in connection with mystery-cults, fully initiated. As they began walking down the street they saw an old man sitting near a fence. My best buddy in high school did not grow and might have been nearly a midget.
If the cat dies shortly afterward, the child may believe that she caused its death through her own anger. They accept the lack of definitive answers and look to the mystery of the universe as part of the spiritual process, willing to live in the unknown, searching for the unknowable. This is what characterizes this early stage of Christian spiritual development. Why do some Christians not grow as they should? According to Fowler, some individuals remain in this stage throughout their lives. My biggest sin issue as a new Christian — born again nearly two years ago — has been judging other Christians.
How much time watching sports or entertainment, or reading the paper, magazines, etc. The basic theory can be applied, not only to those in traditional faiths, but those who follow alternative spiritualities or secular worldviews as well. You may study with teachers and gurus. Don't Become Discouraged by Mistakes and Rebukes. In our world, people tend to scratch and claw over each other to get the top of the corporate ladder, or look down with a sense of superiority over those below them. Initially, most progress along the same path but, at certain points, you have choices—whether to stay immersed in the status quo world or to explore the splendors of your spiritual journey.
However, everyone has have an ear to hear or be teachable. I am being set apart from culture to piety. This never seems to lead us to look deep enough into ourselves where the real work of redemption needs to happen. According to Peck, the majority of churchgoers and believers can be found in this stage. Spiritual Young Men Abide in the Word v. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. He will oppose you as you share Christ with others.
God identified that and if you take our theology seriously, he always knew it would be this way, which is a little mind-bending if you think about it. This tension can cause disillusionment with God, church, and yourself. It is this complete and permanent gift of forgiveness through Jesus that is the foundation of all healthy spiritual development, and it paves the way for the experience that John says marks this stage. I advise on creating a plan that helps each member understand goals for Christian maturity. Besides these truths, the new Christian needs to be taught important principles that lead to spiritual growth: prayer and fasting, faithfulness to God and His body, worship, giving, holiness, etc. Further most pastors should be able toll out a list of half a dozen book recommendations on spiritual formation.
What an amazing lifelong process that is! This article was the bomb! However, the faith that is claimed is usually still the faith of their family. During these years, children begin to understand causality, to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and to become wonderful storytellers. However, some people stay at this stage for their entire life. Remember that people who may be mature today did not get that way overnight. When these people get into leadership positions, they start of force their boundaries on others. Read Matthew 24:11; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
It is an incredibly difficult line to find, but we must find it. They want children to eat what is good, not bad for them. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, every idiot and his mother can create their own website, their own virtual pulpit, and spout heretical or lukewarm nonsense and gather a following who will praise them and acknowledge them, even as lies and falsehoods are being taught. You become comfortable with giving as well as receiving. A mature person is a peacemaker. As in any relationship, there are real challenges as the relationship matures. We begin to explore our spiritual gifts and opportunities to serve.
Followed by a gap analysis that helps them align interventions to their respective gaps as well as prioritize those interventions. Crying is their way of communication eventually moving on to grunts and motions. These theorists imply that the stages are linear—passed through once and left behind forever—but this is not necessarily accurate. Everything you do is a spiritual act if you do it with awareness. Because security and stability within the institution are of paramount importance, any change in the form of or any challenge to the beliefs can cause tremendous upset and feelings of threat. Finally, I will grant your point that there are emotionally immature people that have a very rigid poorly informed view. He wants to work through you to invite others to receive Christ, and to help other Christians especially younger Christians to grow spiritually.
Likewise, older members must encourage the newer ones to use their talents. We are always forgetting, remembering, exploring, practicing, integrating, and then forgetting again. Points 2-3 truly echoes lack of balance, like a little kid learning how to walk. Children learning to walk try again and again. My sister has become dependent on her daily dose of wine because she says she cannot sleep. So much depends on our parents and the communities we are born into. They generally accept the stories told to them by their faith community but tend to understand them in very literal ways.
The individual takes personal responsibility for his or her and. While they may espouse loving and caring for others, they are primarily concerned about themselves—their own wants and needs—and can be manipulative and self-serving in acquiring what they want. We are born babies so we can grow up and be productive and useful. Later in this stage children begin to have the capacity to understand that others might have different beliefs than them. You function totally in harmony with nature. The late once told me about a Native American folk tale that claims each person is born into this world with a special song that is his or hers alone. I would love nothing more than to see you thrive in life, leadership and in your walk with Christ.