My two year old grandson, Sam, was visiting us in Florida. His mama and I had taken containers of cold water with us to the beach. The sand was getting warm and Sam was jumping and chanting, “hot, hot, hot!”
We laughed as we watched little Sam open and dump out both containers of drink; one in each hand, in his attempt to cool down the hot sand. The sight of the toddler dumping cold water onto his hot little feet was just—adorable!
He was so cute that we didn’t mind the inconvenience of not having cold water readily available. If his older brother had done the same thing, he’d have been scolded. The action was cute because of Sam’s innocence—cute because of his childish immaturity and total unawareness of consequences.
The Apostle Paul pointed out the same difference in expectation between new Christians and mature Christians. Personal growth is important; ‘we’ are the church. The body of Christ is as mature and effective as its individual members. (Ephesians 4:14-15)
Children want to grow up; they’re eager to enjoy the benefits of maturity. However, they soon find that with the benefits of maturity comes responsibility and work. Spiritual growth also has responsibility that goes along with the benefits (Ephesians 4:11-15).
Just as we must learn self-discipline to achieve education for work in order to become a productive adult; a Christian must discipline themselves to a time of daily Bible study and prayer (I Peter 2:2). Maturity, whether social or spiritual, doesn’t just happen; it is a choice. I Corinthians 13:11 illustrates that putting away childish attitudes is something “I” do; as evidence of maturity.
When adults fail to learn the discipline of work and responsibility, their lack of maturity can make undeserved hardship on those around them. In the same way, without the self-discipline of Bible study and prayer, I won’t become a responsible, productive member of the body of Christ.
Hebrews 5:12-14 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.