Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maturity Trumps Therapy

Ephesians 4:14 - 15 (KJV) 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Our generation seems intoxicated with psychobabble. Sometimes therapy is the key to healing and restoration. However, there are times when the honesty we need is exchanged for the excuse we prefer. Don’t help me BE good, just help me FEEL good! Somewhere, somehow, somebody needs to tell the truth.

In the early days after my children arrived on this planet I did not place much value on their maturity. In fact as they grew enough to make certain sounds, I would imitate their attempts at speech. I was trying to sound like them; all the while they were trying to sound like me. They would giggle and I would enjoy making them feel good.

As they have grown even a few years older (Abigail is 5, Harrison is 2), I have become less of a mimic and more of a mentor. Therefore they have discovered that “goo-goo gaga” doesn’t get them very far. Even Harrison is already using words that make it clear he knows what he wants (and he wants what he wants – exactly when he wants it).

Baby believers need healthy relationships with believers that are not babies! Someone needs to model maturity for the children of God that are new to the body of Christ. Someone needs to feel responsible (even accountable) for the spiritual growth of spiritual babies. We cannot copy the “conversation” of the newly converted while they are desperate to discover the lifestyle of true disciples.

Maturity is NOT the enemy. Putting away “childish things” definitely has its advantages. Thank God for the parents, pastors, and people that are passionate about helping others GROW. Babies are absolutely adorable; but there is nothing cute about an adult acting like a child.

Thank you Jesus for putting people in my life that have helped me mature. Not that I am everything I want to be (or even need to be), but thank God I am not what I have been. I urge you to honor the people that God has put in your life that help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

There are times when the admonition of those that love us might sting a little bit. “Goo-goo gaga” doesn’t provoke my children near as much as the clear sound of correction. However, maturity has its privileges. I appreciate the wonder of being born again. However, I yearn for more than new birth, I want new life. I want Christ to be formed in me. I long for maturity.

Galatians 4:19 (KJV) 19My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,


Sam P said...

Awesome message! I know I often feel as if I need to "come down to their level" when it comes to children and never thought about how it might impact newborn believers as they struggle to grow. Thanks Pastor!

Nikki M said...
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Nikki M said...

I am very thankful for the more mature christians I have in my life. I was one of those "feel good" people. Sence I turned to and embraced Jesus in my life that level of maturitly has rose signifigantly. I want to thank you Pastor Linder for your work. I grow with every message you send. I hope that I can pass that knowledge that you help me recieve to someone else to bring them to salvation. God is awesome and is truly the answers to ALL our problems no matter how small or large.