“So, the first reason for studying Scripture is that it is a means of spiritual growth. There is none apart from the Word. It is God’s primary tool to develop you as an individual” (Howard G.) When regarding our spiritual life, the ultimate goal is to grow or to transform our lives to be more like Christ. As a child, spiritual growth isn’t much different than that of adults, although all children begin their journey the same. With adults, spiritual transformation is a little different because all adults are on different parts of their spiritual journeys.
However, regardless of age I feel consistency is key when trying to build a sustainable relationship with God, so the transformation we do go through will be one that is permeant. To start, spiritual transformation is a fundamental change in a person’s sacred or spiritual life. In psychology, spiritual transformation is understood within the context of an individual’s meaning system, especially in relation to concepts of the sacred or ultimate concern. Growing up, my Grandmother would tell my siblings and I about the three stages of spiritual transformation. She would tell me the first stage isn’t always easy. It’s the stage where the devil will try to tempt you the hardest.
Coincidentally, this is also where our faith is starting to grow so we must trust God especially when it gets difficult. This phrase is termed the camel phase because of how harsh it is going through this phase, carrying all of our baggage along with us and drudging through life feeling empty. My Grandmother would go on to tell me of the next phase which is where we break free from out baggage and tradition. This is where we sever our bonds to our worldly habits and begin new habits and customs to that will please God.
This phrase is called the “lion” phase because of breaking free and in a sense courageous for choosing your own path toward spiritual transformation. However, in this phase we are not totally free yet. Lions are prideful creatures after all, and in this phrase, we are still a little prideful and there are some habits that are a little harder to break. To escape this mental prison, there is a need to completely let go of the past and begin to live a fresh new way of life. For this to happen, we must go through the last stage of spiritual transformation, which is the becoming like a child. The final stage of spiritual transformation is where we reconnect with inner child. This was explained to me like this, a child represents purity and a fresh start. To truly be transformed we must start somewhere and that is why the final transformation is into that of a child. The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:2-5 that he called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” I love this verse because it truly humbles us. We must follow Christ just how children should follow their parents. When developing children, it is important to connect with them on all levels meaning helping them establish a connection with themselves, others, the world, and God. It is the upmost importance to guide and help the child build a personal relationship with God. God created us relational creatures, so when we are young we need to establish a connection with God so that it becomes second nature when we get older. We as seventh Day-Adventist and as Christian believe in Christian fellowship and even kids have a place to interact with other Christian kids. Sabbath School can be an amazing tool to reinforce what children are being taught at home.
Sabbath school is where I learned to love God and to worship him. Every Sabbath morning, my siblings and I would get ready for church and our favorite part was when we would have children’s church. I remember learning so many wonderful Bible stories and really the history of the Bible as well as creation. Sabbath school also allows children to be introduced to quality children’s literature, time for contemplation, generate genuine worship opportunities, and to pray (Myers B.). Memorizing scripture when we are young is vital. Proverbs 22:6 say, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Spiritual transformation in a child is delicate, when training a child, it is important to be straightforward with them and to never be dishonest with them. Children are like sponges, they will soak up any and all information. If we are teaching them one thing, and acting another way, then the child will be confused and can follow the adult’s actions. Once a child develops habits then those same habits will be carried with them till adulthood.
When dealing with Spiritual transformation it is important to realize that adults develop too. The difference between adult spiritual transformation is that adults are all at different parts of their spiritual journey. Some have a strong connection with God already and just have a little transforming to do, whereas some adult has a long way to go. Adults growth is also a little more independent than that of a child. Children have parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, Sabbath school teachers, Pastors, etc. Although adults do have people to lean on, they can grow and come to know God a little bit easier than that of a child.