Our childish things

This is a blog I’ve written elsewhere. I think it applies to anyone who has a sincere desire to grow in truth.

 

 

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 11

 

 

I wonder what exactly Paul was thinking of when he wrote these words. What childish things did he realize he had to put away to become a man? It is interesting that this thought came to him while writing to the church members in Corinth about that absolute necessity for charity.

 

It is smack in the middle of the realization that, though all things in this life will fail at some point, charity will stand through the eternities. Verse 8 reads, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Why shall all these things be prone to failure? Verse 9, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” All our works are subject to failure because we are imperfect. Even in prophesy Paul recognizes there are errors.

 

Perhaps this was some of his childish thought and understandings. That there are some things in this life that should be esteemed as flawless. Our parents can’t be wrong, our laws have no flaws, our leaders are infallible, our prophets do not make mistakes.

 

The fact is anything touched by man is subject to error. Our understanding is simply too limited to get everything right. And it is unrealistic to have that expectation. We cannot become so attached to any idea that we are not willing to recognize that it can be improved, updated or changed altogether. The high level view of any given truth, as it can be understood in the simple innocence of a child is not the same view we should be satisfied with as an adult. The prideful need to judge or belittle others, just for the sake of maintaining a perspective we are comfortable with, is contrary to the very goal of progression.

 

All our works are subject to failure, but charity is never the wrong answer. It is never the short cut. It is never the path to stagnation. Even though we may think we are doing all the right things in all the right places to all the right people, if our motivation is not charity, our works fall to the dust.

 

In what ways do we still hold to our childish things? Demanding unrealistic expectations and becoming disenchanted or bitter when we do not get our way. Do we throw little tantrums when our leaders show frailties? Do we get offended when someone we hold in high regard has a bad day, or struggles with a particular character trait we think they should role model? Or do we put off these childish expectations and realize that for now we see through a glass darkly. It will not be until that which is perfect comes that this which is in part can be done away.

 

No matter what we face that is now only in part, if we face it with charity, we will come closer to God. With charity we can become perfected in Christ. With charity we can become one, else we are not His. With charity we can worship God in spirit and in truth. Then it can be said of us in the book of life that, “in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God”

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One thought on “Our childish things

  1. I’ve always thought of my childish things as my desires to live within legalism and without nuance. It was much simpler when the rules were handed down to me (until I grew up and figured out the box my rules wasn’t big enough).

    Also it was a faith expressed through skittles and rainbows without question of how to express my love of Christ in the midst of heartache and sorrow. It was the faith that said “When you become a Christian, all your problems will go away.”

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