Thursday, March 7, 2024

Growing Up Spiritually

Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. (1 Corinthians 14:20 NLT)

You can’t be a kid again. But in one sense you can, because the Bible teaches that as Christians, we should be childlike in our faith. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3 NLT).

When I became a Christian, it was like a new world to me. I realized that I had so much to learn. I also realized that I really didn’t even know what I thought about so many issues in life, what really mattered, and what my priorities were.

The apostle Paul urged the believers in Corinth, “Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind” (1 Corinthians 14:20 NLT).

There are some areas of the Christian life in which we should be childlike, in which we should be simple. We don’t need to know all the intricacies of evil and the way this world works. We need to maintain our dependence on God and be childlike in that way.

On the other hand, there are areas in which we need to mature and grow. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being spiritual babies when we’re new in the faith. But as the years pass, we need to become spiritually mature.

When we begin as Christians, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, when we are born again, we start out as spiritual infants. This is true of every person, regardless of age. Everyone starts out this way in the faith.

Some people were raised in the church and have always been familiar with the Bible, with worship, and with prayer. But at some point, they realized their walk with God needed to be their own, so they made their own personal commitment to the Lord.

Others came in cold from the world. I was one of those people. I had no background in the church. I had no understanding of the Bible. And I had never worshipped God before. I knew nothing about prayer. I knew relatively nothing about Jesus.

When we’re new in the faith, it’s all so different. It’s a bit of a mystery. That’s why we need people to help us acclimate. We need to learn how to start growing up spiritually.

I like the questions that new believers ask. I like the statements they make. But best of all, I like their zeal. They’re excited about what Christ has done for them.

A church that does not have a constant flow of new believers coming in will be a church that is stagnating spiritually. New believers need more mature believers to help them get grounded. And mature believers need new believers to help remind them of what really matters in life.

We need to remain childlike with our excitement about our faith, but we also need to mature and grow spiritually.

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