Today, Abraham is regarded as the father of faith. When all hope, as a human possibility, failed, Abraham placed his hope in God. Sure, Abraham had some anxious moments, but God did not count these against him. Abraham did not refuse to face reality. He chose to look beyond his difficulties to the Lord and His promises. Let us look at eight stages of maturity in faith and their
alternative eight stages of frustration:
8 Stages of Faith – 8 Stages of Frustration
1. Basic Trust – A firm belief in the reliability of God and the truth of His word. Just as a child learns to implicitly trust its mother, so a young Christian relies on the Lord for its spiritual leading, feeding and protection.
1. Suspicion – A doubt that God or others care about one’s best interests. One who inclined to doubt the genuineness of others’ motives.
2. Confidence – One develops a firm reliance on the certainty of God’s grace, counsel and enabling.
2. Fear – One develops a deepening sense of apprehension that perceives people, circumstances and new ideas as threatening.
3. Innovation – When a person knows one’s value before God they are free to initiate ideas, services and love.
3. Inhibition – When a person lacks a mature faith he or she tends to shy away from taking any risks. A person who is inhibited resists thinking or acting in new ways.
4. Productivity – The deeper one’s faith, the greater capacity an individual has to generate the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, or self-control.
4. Inferiority – When a person fails to show fruit over time, he or she experiences feelings of shame, emptiness or futility. Often times people try to compensate for these inadequate feelings by inventing some cause to justify the efforts.
5. Integration – When a person grows one is able to integrate his or her beliefs with truth in the realities around them.
5. Confusion – One who fails to grow in faith becomes increasingly frustrated and confused. This failure to integrate his or her faith into reality leads them into further confusion about people, ideas and situations. A distorted perspective leads to dysfunctional actions.
6. Friendly Intimacy With Others – When a person becomes closer to the Lord they are free to get closer to people. There is no fear in love as it casts out the fear of being misunderstood or hurt.
6. Cool Estrangement – These people experience an increasing sense of loneliness and feelings of alienation. Human contacts start to become unsatisfying. Pretensions get erected keep people from hurting one’s feelings.
7. Creativity – The person who grows in faith is one who brings to birth original ideas. Inventing new programs, services, or activities keeps this person from becoming stale.
7. Static – A person who fails to grow in faith stagnates in the development of his or her mind, attitudes, and actions.
8. Christ-Likeness – A fully mature person increasingly becomes more like the Lord in thought, speech and action. A great person’s faith allows him or her to see things from God’s point of view.
8. Regret – A person sinks to a deep level of sorrow, remorse, and distress over the loss of missed opportunities.
Paul J. Fritz
Answers2Prayer subscriber [email protected]
Published in newsletter: March 10, 2002