Growing up Kendall Lankford

May 17, 2017

Growing up typically happens in three sequential phases. First, a child is born into the world and is totally dependent upon their parents to provide everything they need. They are fed by them, bathed by them, and loved by them. They do nothing on their own.

Next, a child enters a formative phase where they become progressively less dependent upon others. They are trained how to walk and talk by observing mature people doing so. They learn how to eat and dress through practice and instruction. After many years of acquiring skills, the process ends when they move out of the house to learn how to work and pay their own way.  From toddler to young adult, humans are on a directed journey of maturation, learning how to take care of and support themselves. Sadly, some people never move beyond this phase.

There is a third stage, however.  Adulthood forces most to learn how to provide for the needs of others.  If they become parents, first they will need to provide everything for their infant since they cannot provide for themselves. Eventually, they will transition into the longer process of training those children how to do life for themselves until they have successfully launched those children out into the world. Thus, to be fully mature in life is to be a person who is maturing and has matured others.

How many Christians are stuck as spiritual infants?  They need to have all their needs met by others; they come to church hungrily desiring to have the Gospel spoon fed to them but refuse to pick up the spiritual fork and grab a meal at the Word of God, prayer, and worship throughout the week. And who can blame them, really? There are so few spiritual parents training and pushing infants to grow into less dependent children (much less adults). 

Adulthood is not only for an elite class of humans. Everyone grows up. In the same way, increasing spiritual maturity is not for an elite group of Christians. It should be the norm for everyone.  

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