The ‘Mature’ Christian


It is a common refrain from the mouth of all good mothers, “Eat your vegetables!” And like most children I never liked eating them,  and seldom did so, even with the encouragement of a loving mother. I don’t know why my taste has changed since then, but now the thought of good cooked vegetables brings saliva to my mouth. I don’t think vegetables have changed over the decades, I think it is my taste buds. I think my “buds” have changed. I think they have “grown up”; they have “matured!” If I thought my “buds” were an anomaly I’d be worried. But they’re not! Most adults taste buds go through the same “maturation.” Our taste in most everything “changes” as we grow older.

What did the apostle Paul write to the saints of Corinth: “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)

He wasn’t referring to “taste buds” or any other maturing physical aspect of growing from a child to an adult. He was speaking of the spiritual man. But the principle is the same for both. As we spiritually mature it is time to stop acting like,  and making the same mistakes that we made as a child. We grow up! But sadly, some of us don’t! We continue rejecting good “vegetables” that feed the spirit and continue feasting, like a child, on the nutrition empty candy of the world. We spend our time in pursuit of childish adventures and possession of flashy toys while rejecting the responsibilities that come from becoming an adult. For instance, I love playing golf as much as the next man. Or for that matter, I love playing and watching most sports,  and time spent in these activities can be beneficial if done in moderation. It is not that being an avid sportsman is bad, it’s that the pursuit of anything that is not of eternal value should be put in perspective when we become a “grown-up.”

Paul was trying to impress upon the saints of Corinth the importance of their message to the world. And that message was the reality of a Savior, even Jesus Christ. Paul was testifying that his eyes had been opened to the seriousness of his call, and that all followers of Christ have also been called; called to serve and testify, and that everything else is ‘childish’ when compared to this most important ‘adult’ call.

We can still have fun, like a child, but we have responsibilities that require our “adult” attention.   We all need to be reminded by someone,  like Paul,  from time to time of the important adult role each of us has in this life.

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