“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” –Ephesians 4:16-18 NASB (Emphasis added).
These scriptures remind me of how I have failed at this. Paul uses ‘children’ to indicate the immaturity of a small kid. Anyone who has been around small kids knows what he’s talking about—the back-talking, the temper tantrums, and the promise of being good, of listening only to throw that out the window as soon as a new toy catches their eye in the store. For some kids, it is candy, or not wanting to leave a friend’s home. Whatever it is for the child, there is no doubt it is not unique to one kid.
Yet, as believers, isn’t that how we have sometimes acted? There are those of us who have misled and lied to make ourselves look better, even at the expense of others. Do not immature children point their fingers at others in the same way so that they may receive praise or even to avoid punishment? There are those who have twisted Scripture to support their spin on doctrine, using the Bible to mislead while cherry-picking verses to make their arguments seem legit; and unfortunately, sometimes they are believers. Some of us even twist the ‘speak the truth in love’ so that we can speak whatever awful thing we want because it is the truth and the only love we are showing is self-love or love of drama.
If we examine this Scripture, it is not giving us a Christ-stamped license to be a busy-body, truth-as-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction jerk. That is not love. That is immaturity. What we are supposed to be doing is growing up and being mature in Christ. We are supposed to be building one another up, not tearing one another down. The mature of spirit begin to display more and more behaviors like Christ, not treat His sacrifice as a get out of Hell free card while continuing to live like a self-centered brat.
I don’t know about you, but I have struggled with this in the past. I have been the immature believer, as well as the immature person who feels slighted and wants the satisfaction of getting in my digs. However, that is not who we are called to be as we grow up and start acting the way that Christ and our Heavenly Father expects us to act. We are supposed to be causing growth, not withering and decay.
What about you? In what way are your actions and words indicating immaturity, be it jealousy, envy and bitterness? How are you feeding the spirit of childishness? Do you tear other’s down, spewing venom while sharing truth that is destructive, not done in love and not done in the corrective manner that the Bible tells us we should do? Examine your heart and ask God for forgiveness and maturity of spirit.
Until Next Time,