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I Put Away Childish Things

Maturity is not so much a destination as it is a process.  Because life is dynamic, we are ever pursuing what it means to be “mature”.  We are complex beings with many levels of activity happening simultaneously always.  So, while we may be maturing mentally, we may be engaged in childish behavior emotionally.  The many facets of our human existence means that we are “ever becoming” and that we never “fully arrive”.

Wise men and women across the ages have shared their insights on what it means to mature.  Here are a few….

Maturity begins when we’re content to feel we’re right about something, without feeling the necessity to prove someone else is wrong. – Sydney J. Harris.  To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity. – William Arthur Ward. Grades don’t measure intelligence and age doesn’t define maturity.  (Author unknown).

A minister some years ago related this story of his childhood…..When I was a child, my minister father brought home a 12-year-old boy named Roger, whose parents had died from a drug overdose.  There was no one to care for Roger, so my folks decided they’d just raise him as if he were one of their own sons.  At first it was quite difficult for Roger to adjust to his new home—an environment free of heroin-addicted adults! 

Every day, several times a day, I heard my parents saying to Roger:

“No, no. That’s not how we behave in this family.” 

“No, no. You don’t have to scream or fight or hurt other people to get what you want.” 

“No, no, Roger, we expect you to show respect in this family.” 

And in time Roger began to change.  Now, did Roger have to make all those changes in order to become a part of the family?  No. He was made a part of the family simply by the grace of my father.  But did he then have to do a lot of hard work because he was in the family?  You bet he did.  It was tough for him to change, and he had to work at it.  But he was motivated by gratitude for the incredible love he had received.

Do you have a lot of hard work to do now that the Spirit has adopted you into God’s family?  Certainly. But not in order to become a son or a daughter of the heavenly Father. No, you make those changes because you are a son or daughter.   And every time you start to revert back to the old addictions to sin, the Spirit of God within you will convict you. “No, no. That’s not how we act in this family.”   (Copied).

Paul, the Apostle, would write…..He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.  (Ephesians 4:11-16).