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God ordained us in Christ to grow in His wisdom which comes from the Word. Why do we need to grow? We need it, in order that we should know and attain the sweetness of walking in the full knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Being childish in the things of the Spirit involves being shuttle-cocked from one doctrine to another, having unseasoned conversation with carnal Christians and exchanging the wrong ideas, and running after distracting desires from one partial satisfaction to another, which in turn, chokes the Word of God in one's life, hence rendering the Christian unfruitful. Therefore, spiritual maturity is something that is good, sweet and rewarding in the Lord and it keeps us far from childish and fleshly desires, thereby leaving them unappeased.

Reference: 1 Corinthians 13:11 New King James Version (NKJV) "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."

When Paul was young and inexperienced in faith, his understanding was shortened in perception and his expression was sourced from a limited version of his Christian faith. So here Paul is not talking about being a young child, but being young and shrunk in understanding. The Greek Word for "childish" here in Pauline expression is "Paidariodes", which denotes the condition of being childish or puerile. It is not the word "teknon" which is used for "child," as in, a descendant by birth from their natural parents. Childish things are the attitude of an unrenewed mind and they are attributes that should diminish in us, and not to be entertained for long as we grow in faith. Paul equated childish things with carnality, and they typify all the negative descriptions in 2nd Timothy 3:2-7 which reads below:

"For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth."

Beloved, the Bible says, "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). The sad truth is that many born-again Christians are still considered as spiritual babes in attributes that should characterize mature understanding of spiritual realities. So Paul referred to them as "babes in Christ." However, Paul said in the latter part of referenced verse, "but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Now the right question today is: How do I become a man and put away childish things? Answer - Romans 12:2 reads, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (ESV).

Putting away childish things involves: Being transformed by the renewal of our minds, as well as proving and doing what is well-pleasing to the Lord. To that effect, Ephesians 5:8-11 reminds us saying, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (NIV). By putting away childish desires and refraining from them, all the segments of our Christian being will experience drastic growth, and we begin to realise that all the circumference of our thought pattern, spiritual understanding and speech are reaching their adult stage or status or coming to maturity. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:14; Colossians 4:12; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 6:1.

Guided Prayer: Dear Father, I thank you for the power of my discernment which is trained by renewing my mind through constant practice of the Word to distinguish your good, pleasing and perfect will. I'm forever grateful for my unbroken communion with you and my steadfastness in faith which are gravitating towards its full effect, in perfection and maturity. As I get transformed by your Word daily, I increase in your wisdom and understanding and the Spirit of truth who has began a good work in me will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ, Amen!

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