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Thursday, April 24, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Willful Regression

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For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15).

Regression is a term that is used to describe the way a person will seek to cope with his life situation, by a psychological "going back" to a time in his life that was more secure. This sort of behavior is probably most often noticeable in children who do not seem to let go of "baby talk" or behaviors that marked earlier childhood years. It is their way to deal with the current pressures they may face that cause them to feel unsettled and insecure, or unsure how to behave in a given situation. It is in their seeking to remove the tension caused by these pressures that they strive to go back to a place in which they felt safe--a place that, to them, offered true security.
"Growing up is hard to do," the saying goes. From a child's perspective it can be quite frightening. There are the ever present expectations, with interest, compiled monthly and placed upon their young, inexperienced shoulders. They must grow to act, live and be a certain way, why? Because there is a proper way to conduct one's self that must be learned--otherwise they will not be accepted. Within much of these expectations there comes much unnecessary demands from those around them, while much of what is more important goes unattended. For instance, our society places a great deal of emphasis on looks and athletic ability or intelligence or normalcy; while things such as good character, integrity and taking responsibility for one's actions are neglected or just plain looked at as being unimportant.
It is no wonder people are stressed, look at what growing up means today--many added pressures with little real joy (unless of course you have lots of money). Plus you have to give up certain behaviors, or modify them so that others will accept you. Imagine a group of adults outside, playing tag or hide and seek as they once did as children. People would think they were crazy. That sort of behavior is not destructive or ungodly. In fact, it might even be beneficial for us to continue certain childhood behaviors well into old age--it might even keep us healthy. Yet, such behavior would be looked down upon by others and therefore should not be acted upon (or so we think).
Unfortunately, this idea of "maturity" (I use this term loosely), has carried over into our spiritual lives as well. We try so hard to live up to the expectations of those around us in how we conduct our religious side, that we lose sight of the joys of childhood. Perhaps we have forgotten where it says "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God" (Jn.1:12). We have forgotten what it means to be children. Seeking to become mature in our faith, we often lose sight of it. Faith has become something that is equated with hard work and righteous duty, rather than simply trusting in God--resting in His arms to find our security.
It is in growing up that we become dependent upon ourselves, trusting ourselves to be the ones to take care of us. After all, it is something that is culturally ingrained in us--"hard, honest work will get you what you need in this life." And the more we hear this, and the more we grow up within ourselves, we begin to find our security within ourselves and our abilities. But let us come to the end of our rope, let us come to a time when everything within our capabilities cannot produce what we need to be secure and we finally realize that we, in all of our "adult" glory, have limits; and we must face the fact that we are not self-sustaining grown-ups as we once thought. It is at this time of crisis that God's children then regress--they return to that place of security within the loving arms of God.
Perhaps the crisis could be avoided if only the children of God would remain within His security in the first place. God does not tell His children to leave His house, go out into the world and "make a way for yourself." Instead, He tells us to reside with Him, be obedient to Him and He will provide you what you need to be secure. This is not to advocate sitting at home waiting for everything we need to fall out of the sky. There are few instances in the Bible of such an occurrence. Yet, this is also not to advocate following your own plan in how to meet your needs. We are to be obedient to God in all areas of our lives. We are to "do" life, as His children, while residing in our Father's house. And as little children, we are not to "worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt.6:31-33).
We live in a time of undue anxiety. We worry about security in jobs, relationships and life in general. Perhaps it is time to regress. It is time we quit trying to be so "grown-up" (for that often translates as being complete within one's own self). It is time we take our rightful place as the children of the living God--finding our security in Him once more.

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