When I grow up I want to be a beer truck
Well not really!! But this was what the bumper sticker said on the back of a very small bakkie (utility vehicle). I got to thinking of growing up this morning whilst jogging. When I was at school in my senior years, I used to win all the athletic track events from the 200m to the 3000m. Even after school, I delivered newspapers for a living and could run a route faster than the others could drive it on their bikes. I loved to run.
Well, I just started jogging/running again for the first time after 15 years. What happened you might ask? I grew up; I started working, went to gym to bulk up, wooed my wife. All of these took time away, and it wasn’t long before running was the lowest priority on my ‘to do’ list. There were other ‘more important’ things taking my time up. Growing up had altered my life.
This is true of our Christian walk too. God does not want us to remain in our ‘childish’ state only able to consume milk. He is wanting us to mature and to grow up so that we can consume spiritual meat (see Hebrews 5:13-14). In fact He needs us to grow up. Why? Because as people enter the kingdom, they are like babies needing to consume spiritual milk. But if there are no ‘grown up’ Christians to help them, they themselves will never grow up (see Philippians 3:17).
But what does a ‘grown up’ Christian look like?
A grown up Christian does not necessarily mean that they are old in age, but rather that they have had a personal relationship with Jesus for a good number of years (see 1 Timothy 4:12). A grown up Christian does not mean that they have all the answers, but rather they realise that despite their wisdom, they know very little (see Philippians 3:8). A grown up Christian does not judge as they know that they are not without sin and can therefore not cast the first stone (see john 8:7-9). A grown up Christian does not wallow in the mud when they have fallen, but are quick to get up in repentance and allows God’s grace to be sufficient (see proverbs 24:16 & 2 Corinthians 12:9). A grown up Christian does not watch along the sides as they see younger Christians fall, but walks with them, lifting them up, and helping them on with their journey (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11 & Galatians 6:1-2).
It is important for us to recognise that we must grow up in the faith and mature. And it is just as important for us to realise that we need others more mature than us to help us to grow, to learn from.
Are there people in your life that you can ‘follow’ (like a Paul)? If you feel that you have matured in your walk, have you made yourself available to be followed? What other ‘marks’ define a grown up (mature) Christian? You can leave a response by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise stated, all references are from the New International Version (NIV)
Hebrews 5:13-14 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. (14) But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Philippians 3:17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
John 8:7-9 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (8) Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. (9) At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Proverbs 24:16a for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, …
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (2) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.