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Recently we were around our dining room table. Conversation is lively as we are four generations when we are all present.

At one point, one states that she should be considered an adult. The other chimes up, well she is almost one. Neither qualifies as an adult as they are still teenagers.

I think to myself, they really shouldn’t rush it. The years pass quickly and they will be adults soon enough.

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 wish we were children again.

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says this:

Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (NLT)

Jesus was not instructing us to never grow up. Jesus meant for us to come in humility, in trust, in faith. We need to grow up for our own good as there are benefits to maturity:

  1. 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 helps us to become all we were meant to be.  Growing up brings us to be whole in God.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, NLT). Growing up makes us healthy and robust in our love for God, and for others.
  5. 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 difficult to distinguish right from wrong, and God’s ways from the world’s, we need discernment more than ever.

Eugene Peterson, in The Message, brings a powerful word image:

“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.”
(Hebrews 6:1, MSG)

“Perhaps celebration is an art worth developing not only for routine holidays and celebratory days, but every day.” Viewing celebration as an art is a wonderful perspective for us to take on each day. Think of all the little things we would then celebrate. Donna Bucher brings a most encouraging perspective in her post “Nurturing Hope Through Celebration” HERE.



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Image by Ray Shrewsberry • from Pixabay