From Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth we read,
- “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (I Corinthians 13:11 – NASB)
The believers at Corinth obviously needed this counsel from the apostle Paul. Quite simply, they had been and they were acting like children. To them Paul essentially said, “O grow up!”
In today’s culture children are given a lot more credit for wisdom then they deserve. Brethren, children are not wise. They are for all intensive purposes, extremely selfish, self-serving. From early on they are on a course of seeking out what they believe to be best for them. And if this selfish attitude is not checked somewhere along the line they will carry it over into adulthood.
Quite often we see children throwing their temper tantrums, screaming to have their way (if you’ve ever noticed, this is quite a common event in your local Wal-Mart), kicking and yelling at the top of their lungs, making it well known that they are not happy with the fact that things are not going as they want them to go.
Oddly enough, Christians have been known to act in such a manner also. The apostle James wrote,
- “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?” (James 4:1 – NASB)
Our own selfish, childish ways, acting like children who seek out their own “pleasures” leads to “quarrels and conflicts.” We have to be counseled to put away childish characteristics such as . . .
- “. . . . bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander . . . along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 – NASB)
Bringing this subject matter into the spiritual realm, we need to grow up spiritually also, to mature, to develop discernment. The Holy Spirit instructs us,
- “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise . . . So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15, 17 – NASB)
The “will of the Lord” for every believer is spiritual maturity
- “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking . . . but in your thinking be mature.” (I Corinthians 14:20 – NASB)
Children of the flesh need to be instructed in how to behave, how to think. In the same way Christians need to be instructed in how to behave, how to think, the goal being . . . .
- “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children . . . but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:13-15 – NASB)
In short . . . the Holy Spirit shouts to us from the Scripture, “O grow up!” Grow up Christian “to a mature man . . . no longer (like) children” but “in all aspects (like) Him . . . even Christ.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you go about your walk strive to put off immaturity and in turn, put on maturity, in order that you may be more and more like Christ.
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