Interventionist Theology and Sonship Life Skill
Much of the teaching we hear in church has to do with faith: being encouraged that God will come through, that God is faithful, He is for you, just keep hanging on. This is good and right but not the whole picture.
We use the analogy that making an airplane sound to feed a baby is cute. But doing it to feed a 16-year-old is wrong! This exemplifies the relationship to faith. This teenager should now be better able to trust God since he’s not a baby anymore. Again, here’s good truth, so let’s expand that out some. In real life, the 16-year-old has learned some skills. Some hand to mouth coordination. He can probably even fix some meals himself. Certainly he can plate his own food.
If we aren’t careful, being overly focused on God’s intervention can lead to a victim mentality. We take steps to trust God, we fast, we pray and we end up feeling like God has not come through for us. We end up depressed and even angry at God. Yet, many times, we didn’t learn a single new skill in the process of exercising our faith.
Life Skill Sets
Maturity is more than faith and it is even more than repentance or casting something out. There are also things God wants us to learn in the process. There are those who have developed excellent people skills. Insecure and controlling people don’t “push their buttons.” They can speak up for themselves while maintaining respect in the conversation. There are people with excellent writing and speaking skills, and those skills bring opportunity into their lives. Also there are people that have learned to handle finances well.
Dealing properly and responsibly with our emotions is a skill. Walking in empathy is a skill. Walking in the humility to take the “high road” with others is a skill. Learning to overcome a victim mentality is a skill.
When I studied for my masters in Christian counseling, I had to write a fifteen-page research paper for every class. That was in addition to a couple shorter papers and reading several books on the given subject. What if a given Christian put that kind of effort in learning to develop good communication skills, or in understanding effective leadership that could help them on their job or leading in community volunteer projects? What if someone decided they have struggled long enough with a victim mentality and chose to study everything about it to walk out of it?
We will always need faith, but faith without works is dead. It’s not always about Divine intervention. Knowing there are skills and other things God wants us to mature in opens up new avenues of growth and gives us greater hope to see sustainable change.