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Faith and Human Development

Updated on March 7, 2012

Faith and human development are two ways for man to live a balanced life. The focus should be on how a person develops physically as well as how a person develops in his faith walk.

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 certain 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

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.

Human Development

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 interaction with others.

Erikson contended that there are eight (8) 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.

Stage
Age
Area
What Person Says
1
Infancy (Year 1)
Trust vs Mistrust
"I am secure because I am given everything I need."{."
2
Early Childhood (2 & 3)
Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt
"I can do it all by myself."
3
Play Age (4 & 5)
Initiative vs Guilt
"I am everything i can imagine myself to be.'
4
School Age (6 to 12)
Industry vs Inferiority
"I am what I can do."
5
Adolescence (13-19)
Identity vs Diiffusion
"Who am I really?"
6
Young Adult (20-34)
Intimacy vs Isolation
"Can I form deep and lasting personal relationships?"
7
Adulthood (35-65)
Generativity vs Stagnation
"How can I help others to grow?
8
Mature Age (over 65)
Integrity vs Despair
"Was my life really worth living?"

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    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Chris, for the vote!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      voted up:)

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      wba108@yahoo.com, thanks a lot for reading my article and for commenting.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      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

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks for reading and responding.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      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 profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      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!

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      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.

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      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.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Dave, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      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.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      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 profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      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.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Marcella, you are right. Thanks for reading and responding!

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      Marcella Glenn 6 years ago from PA

      Everyone has faith but there are those that, for whatever reason, deny it.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      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"?

    • profile image

      jdove-miller 6 years ago

      What do you think are the stages of "faith development"?