Childish Ways

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. For those who are interested, the Mrs. and I had a very nice anniversary. We stayed at the Hampton Inn we stayed at on our wedding night and we had excellent treatment from them we greatly appreciate. Now that I’m back here, I’ll be continuing our look at 1 Corinthians 13 with talking about childish thinking.

It has been said that men never really grow up. Their toys just changed. If you look at professional sports, that’s certainly an example. A little boy who develops a talent with hitting a ball with a stick can eventually become a sports icon playing major league baseball. Is that what Paul is speaking against?

If you walk into arcades, though few are around, you will often find grown men in there playing games still. Indeed, many owners of video game consoles are adults. We happen to own quite a few around here. Why? We like to play games. Is this what Paul is speaking about?

When we are younger, we often have highly active imaginations. We feel out many situations and like to dream big and think about doing something great for the world. We are often told later on that we will grow up and get out of that phase and come to realize that we just need to accept our place in life. Is this what Paul is talking about?

No. Paul is talking about a mode of thinking more than anything else. He is not talking about something that is emotional. He is talking about something that is entirely rational. He is not telling us to abandon childlikeness as we should all be like little children in our wonder and trust of God. He is telling us instead to abandon childishness, and we all recognize the attitudes of childishness, and especially can usually recognize them in ourselves. We often still have this idea that reality ought always to go our way.

Paul gives a similar warning in 1 Corinthians 14:20. The Corinthians were acting like children in many ways with their attitudes and their constant one-upmanship and chasing after something grand for them rather than seeking that which is for the good of the body, a lesson we all need to learn. The question is not what good can the church do for you, although the church should support its own, but what good you can do for the church.

We should all have the wonder of children, but we should all seek to constantly be improving our thinking. When we think about God for instance, are we thinking just about what He does for us, or are we thinking about what we can do for Him and who He is? Much of our worship today seems to be about us rather than about God. We can often define a good worship service as one where we leave feeling good, when in reality, it could be some of the best worship services are the ones where we leave feeling miserable because we’ve been convicted of our sin and know we need to do better.

Christians should be about good thinking. It’s a shame that in our world today, the church has often been seen as abandoning rationality and indeed, many churches pride themselves on that. The more you can live by blind faith rather than actually believing something for a reason, the better you are.

I actually am of the opinion that if it seems many people today even outside the church have crazy ideas and are abandoning reason, it’s because the church did it first. Much like we led the way with many universities, we are also leading the way with many ignorances because we allowed childish thinking to come in.

Let’s follow Paul’s words and be adult in our thinking. It’s the loving thing to do for future generations.