“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature” (I Corinthians 14:20)
“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11)
I have been thinking about the idea of growth in our faith – and I notice Paul uses the idea of growth from a child to an adult. That once we come to this faith we start as ‘babies’ and eventually mature into ‘adults’ in our understanding of what we are studying – I am guessing with all the same processes of real life – from child (being told what is true) to teenager (knowing all the answers) to young adult (questioning what you thought you knew) to adult (maturity that is a partnership with God?).
I am using Paul’s idea metaphorically of course – but it does help with developing a picture of what our faith should look like. I love how Paul does question the idea of thinking maturely (likely in regards to ethics) but I think it has another aspect to it – going from one understanding to one of more depth. Just how mature are we?
My thought on this is simple: growth in this faith needs to result into a place where we take full responsibility for our understanding of this faith (and what it means to us) – and instead of ‘letting go and letting God’ – we take our end of that partnership – we grow into a place where ‘God lets go of our hand – to see us walk’.
I am thinking about this in a logical growth pattern – as how a parent treats a child (even while they grow). It would be absurd for your own parents to keep parenting you as a young child while you are an adult – at some point you accept the role of ‘decision maker’. This puts the responsibility for ‘what you do with what you know’ where it belongs – with you.
So do you think our faith is like this? Are we growing to a point where God allows us that much responsibility – as in a friendship with God? Can He trust us that much?