failure to launch

If you haven’t seen the movie, you at least know the terminology. So prevalent in our society, there are literally dozens of treatment centers and residential programs dedicated to help young adults effectively transition into society. (I know, I shook my head as well).

According to the Optimum Performance Institute, the term “failure to launch” is defined as “not a true diagnosis (nor is it a term we particularly like at OPI), but rather is a common way to describe a young adult who is struggling with the transition to adulthood. It can be defined as an inability to leave home and support oneself, regardless of the underlying cause.”

As much as I would like to giggle a bit as I shake my head in wonderment, I can’t help but to recognize that many of us, as Christians, share in this very same affliction. 

While there are many reasons cited for the root causes of adult children choosing not to leave the nest, I think the overarching theme is a sense of feeling ill-equipped to face the responsibilities and challenges of adulthood. Similarly, many Christians find themselves finding comfort in familiarity, wanting to enjoy the privileges of community, while continuing to deny the opportunities and responsibilities to grow in faith, wisdom and viability. 

Christians often hide behind the cushion of grace and neglect the growth we are called to by our Savior. 

So many times we become paralyzed with doubt, or are subdued by our lack of commitment to the mandate of Jesus to share his love with others. In my walk as a believer, I have witnessed more lukewarm Christianity than I care to mention, and I can’t help but wonder if the gravity of God’s grace has ever fully penetrated their hearts. Truth be told, I am challenged myself in seasons when I feel that the call to feed the poor and clothe the widow, to mourn with the mourners and nurture the orphans, have truly permeated my own daily reality.

How often do I share a good word with a passing stranger?

I heard a story once about a man who knew only one scripture, and yet he loved the Lord with all his heart, so he shared this love with everyone he met. Many people received the Good News of Jesus Christ, and many opened up their hearts to a relationship with him. It is not always the wisdom of God that leads others to faith, but rather the conviction and love in the heart of the sharer.

Do you need to step up and step out? Are you walking in your greatest capacity to the calling He has placed on your own life? Have you become satisfied with being a baby Christian and allowing others to do the heavy lifting? While pointing fingers at fellow “hypocritical” Christians, are you cognizant of the reality of your own testimony to those around you? In a world so broken and harsh, it seems all the more imperative that our complacency be overcome with our passion for what we are called to do. The harvest is ripe, but the workers are few … Are you feeling a pull to something more?? 

It is time, my friends, to launch. 

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. – Hebrews 5:12-14

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, – Matthew 28:19

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. – John 21:17

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