Them and Us#3. “When I became a man…”

Them and Us#3. “When I became a man…”

Nothing is more affirming to a parent than to see their children reach maturity. New parents have no idea of the brevity of time between a baby’s arrival in the home and their departure from it. The stages of life, from complete dependence to claimed independence, are replete with emotions. There is no relaxation as they move from the self-centred but joyful child to the anxious but potential-filled youth. It is when a sense of responsibility and accountability has imbedded itself in their minds and hearts that we allow ourselves to assume that adulthood has arrived.

But what of those who never grow up?

If we are honest, we all see childish ways in ourselves and others; but surely it is going too far to count someone as being immature. The irony of this resides in the fact that immature people are the least likely to believe themselves to be immature. So, if the immature are to be the judges of who the adults in the room are, they will choose “them!” not “us!”

No one likes to be told to “grow up!” And to be honest, you might be wasting your time taking that approach. Granted, Paul said that he could not address the Corinthian church as mature Christians, but he spoke with apostolic wisdom and authority.

Despite our best efforts to kid ourselves otherwise, we will never reach full maturity in Christ this side of heaven. That is not to suggest that the tools are not available for us to strive toward our full potential; the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and the brethren are all that the faithful need to attain life and godliness.

The Corinthian church exposed their spiritual childishness by glorying in their miraculous giftedness. A mature church would have gloried in “faith, hope, and love;” the very things those gifts were designed to help spread. Paul points the brethren away from childishness: “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

John Staiger

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