Summary: This message is part one of a two part series which focuses on our individual need to grow up spiritually. The Church is filled with baby Christians and babies cannot brings others to Christ as they require someone to take care of them!
It’s Time To Grow Up!
Scriptures: Proverbs 20:11; 22:6; 29:15; 1 Cor. 13:11; Heb. 5:12-14
The title of my message this morning is “It’s Time to Grow Up.” This message is part one of two. This morning I want to establish a foundation and give you a few thoughts to meditate on this week in preparation for the main message on next Sunday.
Do you know that many Churches operate as “spiritual daycare” centers that care for babies (Christians) day after day versus being educational training centers that takes the newborn and trains them to be functional adults who are able to teach and train others? This is not how we are supposed to be operating as Children of God who are saved and sanctified through the blood of Christ!
How many of you know that what takes place in the natural (our natural lives) can provide examples of what takes place in the spiritual realm. There are many examples within the Bible that uses a natural example to demonstrate a spiritual principle. One of those examples pertains to our need to move from being a “baby” Christian to a full-grown mature Christian. This is the focus of the message this morning.
I have told you before that my father when he was alive would tell my brothers and me “The older you get is just the older you get!” He would say that when we would say or do something that he thought was stupid. We would be joking around and having fun (as adults) and he would just smile, shake his head and say it. We heard this from the time we were young adults until his death in 2008. When my brother and I were together last weekend for my uncle’s funeral, we were joking in the car and Nikki made the statement referring to how we were acting. I love my father dearly and his saying stays with me because I see it lived out in the lives of many people that I interact with. You can apply this saying to anyone who never learn from their life’s experiences and keep doing the same things over and over hoping for a different outcome. You can also apply this saying to what I will share with you in these messages; that spiritually, it is really time for all of us to grow up! It is time that we stop being babies and become adults. To make this message clear, I want to remind you of the differences between a baby (infant or toddler) and an adult.
How many of you have ever said to someone, “Stop acting like a baby!” or “You’re acting childish!” or “You’re just a big kid!” or “Grow up!” If you have ever said these statements to someone you were contrasting how they were acting as an adult versus what would be considered normal for how a baby or child would act. Write down this Scriptural reference and meditate on what is being said. Proverbs 20:11 says “It is by his deeds that a child distinguishes himself, if his conduct is pure and right.” A child distinguishes him/herself by how they act – by their conduct. We label children by how they act – good, bad, respectful, disrespectful, etc. The label is based on the actions of the child. We do the same for adults so when we see characteristics of a child being exhibited in an adult we call their behavior “childish.” A person will be labelled according to their actions. If you steal, you will be labelled a thief. If you lie, you will be known as a liar. The same applies to the good things we are known for. Now, as it relates to acting childish, that is a little different because it speaks to a lack of maturity and/or growth. Let’s examine some childish behaviors which are “normal” for a child, but would be abnormal for an adult.
An infant or small child expresses their feelings through crying, facial expressions and body language. Their judgement is based on perception versus logic. As they begin to understand words, they begin to communicate via sounds and gestures. Small children do not understand limits. They tend to be self-absorbed and egocentric. Although they depend on adults, they can be militantly independent at the same time and resistant to authority of others. They want to have some authority. Children are playful as they discover more and more of their surroundings. Some common things we see children doing include riding a tricycle versus a bicycle; coloring with crayons versus color pencils; drinking out of a baby bottle versus a cup; sucking their thumb or pacifier (well some adults may do this); running around in circles until they get dizzy; riding in the grocery cart at the store; screaming when their mom grabs their hand and tell them it’s time to leave the store. All of these behaviors are associated with being a child and would not be considered abnormal as they are not only normal for them, but pretty much expected. But, if an adult were doing these exact same things then their behavior would not be normal or expected.