“I can’t wait to be a grownup”, she said to me one day.
And I naturally replied, “Don’t rush it. Stay little for a bit more.”
A few days later, I remembered a comment a friend had said to me years ago, “I’ll never grow up!” She was quite serious, saying it quite proudly. Almost as if wearing a badge of honor.
At one point in our lives, we truly cannot wait to grow up – to go to high school, to drive a car, to get a job, to marry, to have children. And then comes the turning point, when having reached some or all of those achievements, we regress to a childlike state.
Yes, we are to “become like a little children”, as we are told in Matthew 18:2yet Jesus meant for us to come in humility, in trust, in faith. Not the same thing as never growing up.
Christ instructs us to grow up, that is Who. He tells us to grow up for our own good as there are benefits to maturity:
- Growing up brings more. “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.”
(1 Peter 2:2, NLT) God has more for us and growing up brings us to that more, brings us to wholeness in God.
- Growing up brings perfection. “So let it [your faith] grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:4, NLT) Our faith becomes mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
- Growing up brings protection. “Then we will no longer we immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” (Ephesians 4:14, NLT) Immaturity makes us an easy mark for imposters. We need to be grounded in the whole truth of God’s Word.
- Growing up brings health. Let’s continue in Ephesians which explains, “so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (verse 16) Growing up makes us healthy and robust in our love for God and for others.
- Growing up brings discernment. “Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:14, NLT) In a world where the lines are getting muddied, making it hard to distinguish right from wrong, and God’s ways from the world’s, we need discernment more than ever.
“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art.
Grow up in Christ.
Let’s get on with it.”
(Hebrews 6:1, MSG)