When I first began teaching at a university over two decades ago, we had developmental classes for students deemed not ready to participate in regular freshman university studies. These classes were in math, English, and reading, and they were actually a great help to those who just had not gotten what they needed while they were in high school. Sometimes students returning to college after many years away from school would also find these classes helpful in getting back into the swing of learning.
The lessons covered things that students should have learned or maybe that they learned and never mastered or maybe that they learned and just forgot because they saw no practical value to their lives at the time. These developmental classes gave students the time and attention needed to build upon skills and to develop new ones. They created a foundation from which to launch into deeper and more complex studies.
I think we need to adopt this lens of developmental studies for our spiritual lives. Some of us are absolutely beyond developmental status, but for many of us, some refreshers on what we learned and never mastered or learned and never saw as applicable could do us some real good. Giving ourselves time and diving into God’s Word through reading, studying or small groups would be just invaluable.
In fact, some of you, like me, might stay for quite some time at the developmental level, and that would be okay. You see, I am developmental when it comes to my walk with Christ. I learned a good bit about Jesus when I was growing up, and I definitely knew about Jesus and what He had done for me. So I got an education in who Jesus was, but as I matured, I walked my own way. I didn’t see the lessons as applicable to my life at the time. I didn’t really understand what it meant to be a Christian.
In the past dozen years or so since my mom’s death, however, I’ve really been seeking after God, and I realize that I need much development. I need a developmental education to get what I didn’t get growing up and to help me remember all the stuff I learned that didn’t seem relevant to my life at the time.
I am developmental, and that’s just how God wants me to be. God wants me to be open to learning because He is never done with me. God wants me to be weak so I see how much I need Him.
When we are developmental, like those college students were in those developmental classes, we NEED someone to help us develop. The Holy Spirit is more than willing, and I’m sure lots of loving Christians would be willing to lend a hand too.
The more time I spend with God, the more He guides me and shows me how to know Him. He is teaching me his precepts and His way. He is mentoring me in how my life can be. He is showing me that what the world says is success is not what He thinks is success. He is shaping how I show up in the world.
So right now, I am resting in my developmental faith. I am developing a love and awe for Jesus that I never imagined existed. And I couldn’t be happier that I am struggling with it all because He is working in my struggle to show me that He is really all that I and my family need.
Are you developmental? You should want to be. IMPACT yourself.
Connie Benoit Sirois
Author | Speaker | Trainer
We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.
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