Speaking and Understanding as a Child

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I Corinthians 13:8-11

This passage is often used to point out the fact that, as we grow older (and hopefully more mature), we will need to put away childish things.  We need to grow up, physically, mentally and spiritually.  And, I believe that is the correct application.  But I would like to point out something from a slightly different angle.  I am a teacher and I see these things often.  There is a balance that we need.  We all have to grow up – physically, mentally and spiritually.  We are not born fully developed as men and women.  It is the same with us mentally – we are not born knowing everything.  It is the same spiritually – we are not born again as mature Christians.  We have to grow.  We have to learn.  We have to mature.

There is an old saying that says “there is a ditch on both sides of the road.”  I think a lot of people fall into the ditch on one side of the other in this area.  Some people go too far in this direction: they do not accept the fact that, when a person is a child, they are going to think and speak like a child.  They expect children to behave as adults.  They do not allow for “childish thinking.”  There are some Christians who expect young Christians to behave like they have been saved for 40 years.  It doesn’t work that way.

On the other hand, some people go too far in the other direction.  They see nothing wrong with their 18 or 20 year old children acting, thinking and speaking like they’re 5 years old.  We should expect to see development or maturation.

We need to keep this in mind, especially when dealing with children (physical or spiritual children!).

3 responses to this post.

  1. It is true. In ministry we must make room for the “children of faith” and give them time to grow out of the world. On the other hand men and women over time should begin to display the fruit of salvation.


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