I mean….vastly different!! A child can be both and it’s really no big deal. It’s even expected for little kids to be childish in the way they think and behave. After all, they’re new at this thing we call life. And, any parent will tell you that it’s a process; it just takes time to grow them up, and mature them in their understanding and in the way they think, reason and act. One of the mistakes most of us parents have made is to expect too much of them at too early an age. Well, you know, we were new at this parenting thing ourselves and it’s a pretty long learning process for us as well. But we can get better….I can personally vouch for that.
It’s one thing for a child to be childish….but it’s an altogether different situation when adults continue to be childish. To be childlike seems to be a trait to be desired, at least from a Biblical standpoint. Jesus talked a lot about children. He instructed in one place, “in malice be children”. The nugget there is that children naturally have clean hearts. Their hearts haven’t been polluted with the negativity and junk that the world throws at us. A ‘childlike’ faith appears to be the very best faith, the purest….and the most sincere and authentic. Childlike is good!
There was a problem in the early church. Paul addressed it more than once; “I’d like to feed you solid food….but you’re still on milk”. The problem exists today, and maybe to an even greater degree. Immature believers seem to stay in a ‘me-me-me’ mode. It’s always gotta be about them. I have plenty of patience for someone who’s new in the kingdom and making immature statements and mistakes. But my patience runs pretty low for those who’ve been around for a long time and still act like babies. They’re nearly always the ones who cause the trouble with their complaining, gossiping, backbiting and whining.
We’ve decided around our place (Trinity Fellowship) that we are going to expect it of one another to go ahead and ‘grow up’. The entire demeanor of the church, worldwide, would change if everyone would decide that. And maybe just maybe….the outside world would begin to respect us. Until we grow up….we really don’t deserve it!
Get over your childishness! We’ll give you enough time and grace for that. But I hope you never get over your ‘childlikeness’!!