Stages of spiritual growth (2)
The second stage in spiritual growth is adolescence. John writes, ‘Young men…you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one’ (1 John 2:14 NAS). The transition from adolescence into adulthood can be a bumpy ride. Teenagers clash with their parents and other authority figures because they’re moving from dependence to independence. They wrestle with conflicting feelings of wanting their freedom, yet not really wanting it; especially if the parents are still paying the bills. They hate being told what time they have to ‘be in’, particularly when their friends don’t have to worry about it. They don’t like needing to get approval for clothes, parties, or for using the family car. They especially hate hearing, ‘As long as you’re under my roof you’ll live by my rules. When you get your own family you can make up your own rules.’ But like it or not, as teenagers we still need help, support, and guidance.
That’s all true of the ‘spiritual teenager’ as well. They don’t know as much as they think they know. They need guidance, support, and correction from more mature Christians so they can learn how to avoid falling into the enemy’s trap. They need instruction and training in God’s Word to make them strong and keep them ready at all times. And they need opportunities to serve, discover and develop their gifts, and gain experience. So, how can you tell when you’ve outgrown your spiritual adolescence and begun moving into adulthood?
John answers, ‘You are strong… the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.’
‘I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.’ 1 John 2:13 NAS