Summary: There’s a great difference between being childlike and childish! When childish behavior dominates adults the results are disastrous.
CHILDREN WILL BE CHILDREN
INTRODUCTION: Children are beautiful people (sometimes). Remember when Jesus sat a little child in the midst of a bunch of disciples clamoring for honor? He was teaching a lesson. There’s a great difference between being childlike and childish! When childish behavior dominates adults the results are disastrous.
Dr. John Morgan of Northwestern University says, “Most patients in mental hospitals are people whose bodies are mature but whose emotions are infantile.” Many people are trying to do an adult’s work with a child’s emotions.
The issue of childishness is disastrous for the home. The home can become a horrible, harmful, hateful and hellish place to live. It’s also devastating for the church. One of the worst places in the N.T. was the FBC Corinth. Paul called them “babies”. He said “Put away childish things.”
Let’s look at some characteristics of children.
I. A Child Cries Easily
You don’t have to teach a child to cry. They are experts. Why do they cry? For themselves! Look at our churches. They are filled with “adult babies”. They are constant, chronic complainers. Nothing goes to please them. Crying is alright as long as the tears are of the right kind. Paul cried. Jesus cried.
II. A Child Craves Attention
They love center stage. “Look at me.” That’s why they interrupt and pitch tantrums in the grocery store. Put that child into an adult frame and you have good old fashion “ugly”.
The Pharisees were attention getters (Matt. 6). Many break their back in church life not because they love the Lord but because they love the limelight! I think Jesus sometimes says to us “Take a back seat. If I want you up front, I’ll call you!” Matt. 23:12 = “If you let your light shine, God will put it where it can be seen.”
III. A Child Has Little Gratitude
Whatever you do it’s never enough. Give him ten presents and he’ll want eleven. Appreciation doesn’t come naturally to a child. It must be taught. Know any church members who have much criticism but little gratitude for their church? Do you have any “church neurotics”? Those are people who feel they should be visited, petted and begged to be faithful to the church. You can never do enough for them. The only visit they remember is the one you didn’t make! They only concentrate on what’s due them not what’s been done for them. God forbid they ever think of doing something for others. Big old babies. They need to grow up! Spoiled brats – get a life! Am I being too harsh? Okay, so I’m having a bad day!
IV. A Child Feels Little Responsibility
Children are guided by the words “want” and “have to”, not by “ought to”. There’s no sense of obligation. Look at many of our church members. Many feel little responsibility.
V. A Child Is Selfish
All can be summed up in one word – selfish. It’s the root cause of every sin. We all have the tendency to live in our own little world. Many preachers work hard, not because of love for people, but for personal success. Oh, the slimy pit of selfishness.
CONCLUSION: Put away childish things and grow up!