S89P4 – The good death: childish things

1 Cor. 13:11-12

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Children can be incredibly insightful although completely unaware of it.  It was my goddaughter’s birthday party in the park, and she wanted me to play with her in the playground.  I took her over to the slides and the jungle gym, but I was doing a lot more supervising than playing.  I decided to be funny and tell her that I was going to go up on the side with her, but she was quick to stop me.  She told me that I was too big to go on the slide because that was for little kids like her.  Her reference was not to my size but to my age.  Even she could recognize that some things are simply unsuitable for me now that I am no longer a little kid. 

The difference between a child and an adult is maturity.  When scripture speaks of moving beyond childish things it is speaking of moving beyond the foolish and toward the wise.  In our own knowledge and wisdom, we are simply treading water in foolishness, lacking all spiritual maturity.  Once we come to know Christ, we are to put away those childish things.  The foolishness which drove our decisions and desires must be put to death.  We cannot continue to operate out of that immaturity because it is at odds with the spiritual maturity God desires to raise in us.  We are children of God but no longer children, and the expectation is that we mature into the men and women of God we are to be. 

Spiritually immature thinking and behavior will stunt our growth.  There is no way to hold on to those ways and still grow in God’s knowledge and wisdom.  This is part of the exchange we make with him.  We take off the robe of our knowledge and wisdom and clothe ourselves in his.  If we want to understand the deeper truths and mysteries of God, we must let him develop our thinking and understanding.  Those who remain in their childish ways will not be able to comprehend the things which require mature understanding.  Father, help us to put to death our childish ways and grow in our knowledge and wisdom in You.