Can you even imagine belonging to a religious organization that down plays the importance of self-development? Neither can I but sadly, that was my scenario for many years.
Apparently the idea was “as we are told to look toward God, there remains nothing left of us but all of Him.” While this may sound metaphorically nice, the reality is God *YHWH is creating a UNIQUE creation in all of us. A long time ago I wrote a not very popular article called "Yellow Pencils are Us". As an early piece of my writing, it had a few grammatical errors in it, but as I have evolved as a writer I have improved in all areas. Why would a writer write as badly as they did twenty years ago? Who can proudly claim they have not improved with time? Members of certain churches I personally know seem to take great pride in doing absolutely nothing professionally and proudly bragging how they live off of the church and government. I find these souls the greatest embarrassment to both my faith and to the Creator God.
The basis of self-development is that we learn from our mistakes and improve in our performance in all areas. If self-development is so bad, why on earth would we have the cognitive ability to analyze and study things? A newborn baby is born with a blank slate mentally. It must learn to speak and literally do everything. If we were not supposed to evolve and develop over the course of our lifetimes, we would have been born with full knowledge and instinct much like some of the lower life forms. But that is not the case. We were created to EVOLVE and DEVELOPMENT mentally.
We were created to learn. Stagnant waters rot and mold. And all life therein dies. A life that is not developed stagnates and the mind literally rots. Have you ever wondered why mental illness is at an all-time high in Western society?
Jesus Christ died for our sins. That opens up the door to eternal life. However, we have an entire life here on earth to develop both spiritually and physically. Spiritual development is something different from physical development although the fruits or curses of our spiritual development definitely effect our physical bodies and lives DEPENDING ON THE CHOICES MADE AND APPLICATION OF LESSONS LEARNED.
Our physical development includes mental skills, physical performance, and professional skills that can get us employment or generate a skill set that people will pay us to perform for them. There is something seriously wrong with an able bodied person who can't figure out how to get a job or be able to feed him or herself. I blame the religious institutions directly for this curse we find in America right now. How many churches advocate work development? financial responsibility? professional development?
Minion makers have no desire to create superstars and kings: pay, stay, pray, and obey. One such corporate church actually issued this command a few years ago. Minions are easy to control and they faithfully give 10, 20 or 30% or even more of their income to the church leaders that they in turn use to preach the gospel but sadly, most of this profit is used to travel internationally and pay very large salaries to men who otherwise, probably could not find employment in contemporary society. I'm not against your church or having a paid minister, but I am against any church that holds its members back and tries to control their personal lives: whether this is limiting the educational opportunities, the kinds of jobs allowed to perform, gender suppression (in my 20's I was told I shouldn't be in music school and instead I should be preparing to be a good wife and mother), and otherwise. Churches need to stay OUT OF THE professional lives of their members and OUT OF THEIR bank accounts. If your church controls in ANY way it is time to find another church. Trust me, your future self will thank you and your Creator will applaud.
God wants you to develop. He wants you to learn from life and to become the best you that you can be. He wants you to choose a good profession that can adequately support you in all ways and allow you to live where you desire. He wants you to continually think new thoughts and find better ways of doing things. He wants you to teach others what you have learned. Yes, he wants to be the center of your life but He doesn't want you to use HIM as an excuse to stop developing. Actually this is the greatest insult you can give a CREATOR...to stop becoming what he is trying to persuade you to become! God does not create minions. He creates masterpieces. And human development into the future spirit beings that will compose his ultimate family in the future Kingdom of God demands that people LEARN from life, CHOOSE the better things in life, and BECOME what they choose to become while using their talents, and DEVELOPING their minds and talents as they are so inspired.
I believe God blesses those who try. I believe those who simply pray and take no action will never get true answers or results to their prayers because quite frankly, they are LAZY. Why would God bring food to an able bodied person who refuses to work, hunt, or garden in order to feed themselves? Walking in faith does not mean walking in stupidity. The Bible is full of examples of DOERS, MOVERS, AND SHAKERS. Even the poorest were expected to glean the edges of harvested fields to collect their own grains that they then would grind and make into flour and then bake into bread (See the book of Ruth). Did God ever just drop bread in their laps (excluding the miraculous manna incident while Israel was wondering in the desert: a people so stubborn and so stupid God allowed them to march in circles until they learned obedience). This is the year 2015. Education for almost every subject in the universe is available free through books borrowed from the public library or online through various free videos and classes. There is absolutely no excuse not to self-development.
We must self-development for these reasons: a) to become what God wants us to become b) to be able to get the best job possible c) to be able to constantly add new and exciting fixtures to our lives d) not to mentally stagnate and develop emotional and mental problems, e) to teach and help others improve their lives. And f) to fully enjoy and use the life we have been given.
Take control of your life and learn something new today. Self-evaluate your life and decide if you need further career training or academic enhancement to do what you really want to do and enjoy doing professionally. Get empowered, make new choices, and start self-developing TODAY.