The decade of diapers is almost behind me… My oldest is 10 and my last child is now 2. He also seems to think he is ready to potty train.
This morning I stood by him and said good job as he peed all over the floor. My oldest smiled at me and said, “I’ll go get the swifter.”
It was comical and annoying at the same time. I know that this is the next step to having a potty-trained child. I know that in order to move on to that next stage of life, there will be messes to clean up. I know it will be worth it. But man, sometimes I wish he would just happily pee in his diaper like he used to.
I can remember sitting at my husband’s ordination and the speaker told Ben, “Be ready to change a lot of spiritual diapers.”
I thought that was cleaver, but I had no idea just how accurate that statement was.
Have you ever really considered that Christians go through stages of development too?
First, you have your baby Christians who do not know much about the faith, how to practice it, or how to live it out. This person needs someone walking alongside of them, teaching them. Alas, this also means that they are going to change some diapers, help “potty train,” and clean up when the baby messes up.
The next stage is a spiritual child. Just like a child, this person is learning but very focused on self-gratification. The spiritual child needs someone pointing out the errors in their thinking, in a loving and supportive way. Much like a parent would remind the child, “You get what they get and you don’t throw a fit.”
Side note: When my kids start pouting that things are not fair, I ask them, “Should I give you a high five because you peed on the pot?” That has really put things in perspective for them: fair is not best. Back to the point of this blog- spiritual development…
The third stage is a spiritual adolescent. This person is well on their way of being strong in the faith. They still have learning to do, but they also know how to ask for the help. They are moving from the “what’s in if for me” stage to “how can I help stage.”
The next stage is a mature Christian. This person is actively helping others grow in their faith. This person is the one changing those diapers.
While, this seems pretty straight forward. It’s not. Some people have been Christians their whole lives and have not reached maturity… or adolescents… Just like my husband acts like a big kid sometimes, we can also act like spiritual infants when things do not go our way. I admit, some days I am a spiritual child and other days I am a mature Christian. That’s part of the reason we call it a walk with Christ. We are on a journey to becoming more like Christ, but we are human- which means we mess up sometimes and need loving correction.
Regardless of the stage you are in, you need someone to help you grow and develop into a mature Christian. But once you reach that stage, you don’t just sit idly by thinking about how awesome you are.
No, you go and help others do the same! You disciple. Disciples make more disciples. It’s not a choice. It’s a command. From Christ.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
Yes. You will have to change some spiritual diapers. Yes, you will have to say good job as they pee everywhere. But growth is what we are striving for. We want all people to know Jesus and make Jesus know!