Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Faith and Human Development
Faith and human development are two ways for a person to live a balanced life. The focus should be on how to develop physically as well as how to develop spiritually. If one is out of order, then the person does not live a balanced life.
If a person focuses only on his human development, he will never be balanced. If a person focuses only on his faith development and neglects his human attributes, then there is no balance.
Psychologists and theorists through the ages have tried to categorize what happens during each stage of development. Also, doctors look for things people are expected to do at certain ages. These developments are recognized by pediatricians to determine if babies are developing according to their age. This does not stop with babies, but the stages continue with all people. Geriatricians also chart what happens in the lives of older people.
If we knew the stages of faith and human development, we would be able to understand why we do what we do as well as understanding the behavior of others.
Faith development simply means how people relate to God and God's people. If you have been around a Christian for a considerable amount of time, you should see some growth and development within that person. If you are a Christian, you should also recognize some changes within yourself.
Everyone has been given a "measure of faith" (Romans 12:3). That means everyone has faith to some degree. As a person grows and develops in his spiritual walk, his faith deepens. There are no clearcut chartable stages for faith as there are stages for human development. A person at 10 years old could have just as much faith as a person at 25 or older.
Babies don't act like adults, and hopefully most adults don't act like babies. There are stages that people go through during their development. Society bases a lot of things on ages and stages.
For instance, a person has to be a certain age to see some movies, to drive, to vote, to buy cigarettes and liquor. The prices for some events depend on how old people are. Usually children's prices are lower. Restaurants have meals priced especially for children and seniors. Not only restaurants but many other businesses offer special discounts for seniors.
Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Man
Erik Erikson (1902-1994), gave the world a theory of psychosocial development according to the way people relate to others during their lifetime. These stages are common for all people based on their social interactions.
Erikson contended that there are eight stages for every person no matter who that person is. Each stage from birth to death presents a conflict or crisis that each person must solve. The way we deal with these changes shape our personalities and make us who we are today.
Look at the chart below and determine by your age if your physical development is what the experts say it should be.
|Stage||Age||Area||What Person Says|
Infancy (Year 1)
Trust vs Mistrust
"I am secure because I am given everything I need."
Early Childhood (2 & 3)
Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt
"I can do it all by myself."
Play Age (4 & 5)
Initiative vs Guilt
"I am everything i can imagine myself to be.'
School Age (6 to 12)
Industry vs Inferiority
"I am what I can do."
Identity vs Diiffusion
"Who am I really?"
Young Adult (20-34)
Intimacy vs Isolation
"Can I form deep and lasting personal relationships?"
Generativity vs Stagnation
"How can I help others to grow?
Mature Age (over 65)
Integrity vs Despair
"Was my life really worth living?"
It is normal and commendable when people seek to improve their lives. Growth is a part of living and everybody should want to move up and over from what they were years ago.
Some parents mark their kids' growth on a doorpost. Their kids love to see how much they have grown from year to year. It motivates them and gives them a sense of purpose. Adults should have a similar plan for measuring how they have grown and developed to see if they are on the right track toward having a balanced life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Andreea Nicolae from Darlington, UK on August 13, 2020:
I believe that balance is the best in every aspect of life. So I really enjoyed your article!
Arunkumar on July 23, 2020:
It is useful for everyone to have balance life
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 07, 2012:
Thanks, Chris, for the vote!
Chris Achilleos on March 06, 2012:
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 17, 2011:
email@example.com, thanks a lot for reading my article and for commenting.
firstname.lastname@example.org from upstate, NY on August 20, 2011:
MJM--Enjoyed reading your Hub! There is quite an overlap between psychology and spiritually, if we respond wrongly at certain points in our lives our spiritual and natural developement will be stuck in the past! Its sad when poeple carry baggage thier whole lives. As christians we are called to be overcomers and the walk in newness of life! Thanx for sharing! WBA
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 25, 2011:
Thanks for reading and responding.
heart4theword from hub on April 21, 2011:
Stagnation, is not where we want to be. Did enjoy looking at the graph and thinking about the stages of life:O Thanks:)
Dexter Yarbrough from United States on April 14, 2011:
You don't know how much you are helping me with your "lessons." Just as 'The Spiritual Season Your Life Is In,' this hub is helping me to evaluate and consider things in my own life. Thank you!
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 12, 2011:
Treasuresofheaven: yes, indeed! It is amazing to see your life in stages, but it does help to evaluate the stages you have gone through and compare them to the stage you are in.
Sima Ballinger from Michigan on April 12, 2011:
Makes you think about your life. Thanks for this lesson on faith and human development. Understanding the 8 stages will help us better deal with the stages.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 11, 2011:
Dave, thanks for reading and commenting.
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on April 11, 2011:
revmjm: You make a lot of sense here. There definitely needs to be a balance in the two, well maybe a little more faith is not too bad.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 10, 2011:
Tamarajo, thanks for reading and responding. Yes, the chart is a visible reminder of where we stand from a human aspect and from a faith perspective.
Tamarajo on April 10, 2011:
I enjoyed the graph of developmental stages. It is easy to see where maybe we can get stuck and not mature in certain areas which could have some spiritual applications as well.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 10, 2011:
Marcella, you are right. Thanks for reading and responding!
Marcella Glenn from PA on April 10, 2011:
Everyone has faith but there are those that, for whatever reason, deny it.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 09, 2011:
jdove-miller: I think everyone has "a measure of faith." That simply means everyone has faith to some degree. As a person grows and develops in his spiritual walk, his faith deepens. There are no clearcut chartable stages for faith as there are stages for human development. A person at 12 could have as much faith as a person at 30. What do you think are the stages of "faith development"?
jdove-miller on April 09, 2011:
What do you think are the stages of "faith development"?