WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 11, 2023
TOPIC: PUT AWAY CHILDISH THINGS
BY T. O. BANSO
“When I was a child, I spoke 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 New King James Version).
There are things you do when you’re of a certain age that people won’t bother about because they’re considered normal. But when you ought to have outgrown a particular behaviour and you still manifest it, it gives people a serious concern. This is true, both in physical and spiritual growth.
Toys are for children, not for adults! Childish things are good for children, not for adults! Being a child of God doesn’t mean continuing to be childish. The Apostle Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke 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 New King James Version). Grow up.
Another translation renders the verse thus: “When I was a child, I made use of a child’s language, I had a child’s feelings and a child’s thoughts: now that I am a man, I have put away the things of a child” (Bible in Basic English).
The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (New New King James Version).
However, someone should not take spiritual milk forever. God expects you to take spiritual milk only for a season. You must grow up spiritually; you can’t depend on milk forever – you also need to eat solid food. That was the problem with the Corinthian church, and many Christians are guilty of this today. They have been born again for years but they’re still taking spiritual milk; they cannot take solid food.
The Apostle Paul puts it this way: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 New King James Version).
Note the phrase “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it.” The Good News Translation puts it thus: “I had to feed you milk, not solid food, because you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready for it.”
Believers need to grow to receive solid food just as babies grow to eat physical solid food. The milk refers to the “simplest and easiest truths” of the Gospel while the solid food refers to “the higher truths of the Gospel” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary). Milk can also be described as the “easy and common truths” or “the first principles of the doctrine of Christ” and solid food or meat as “the mysterious parts of gospel knowledge” or “the higher doctrines of Christianity” (William Burkitt’s Notes of the New Testament).
Carnality, manifesting in sectarianism, is a mark of childishness. It is proof that someone is not growing spiritually. Those who are growing don’t engage in divisiveness, schism, or factionalism. No church leader or minister died to save anyone; Jesus did. “Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 New King James Version).
Don’t let your loyalty to a minister or church membership result in acrimony with others. Receive all genuine servants of God as gifts. Ephesians 4:8 says that when He (Jesus) ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. Verses 11-13 say, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (New King James Version).
Paul continues, “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (verses 14-16 New King James Version).
Put away childish things. The writer of Hebrews says, “You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead you have dropped back to the place where you need someone to teach you all over again the very first principles in God’s Word. You are like babies who can drink only milk, not old enough for solid food. And when a person is still living on milk it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life, and doesn’t know much about the difference between right and wrong. He is still a baby Christian!” (Hebrews 5:12-13 The Living Bible).
The Word of God shapes the life of a mature believer, and he can do what is right. In contrast, an immature believer, living on milk, doesn’t know much about doing what is right (verse 13). “Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong” (verse 14 Contemporary English Version). The Good News Translation puts it this way, “Solid food, on the other hand, is for adults, who through practice are able to distinguish between good and evil.”
Solid food goes beyond the basic things a beginner learns about the Scriptures or the first principles of the oracles of God (verse 12). A child of God must go forward in his spiritual knowledge.
Be childlike in your faith but don’t be childish. There is a difference between being childish and being childlike. 1 Corinthians 14:20 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” (New Living Translation).
According to Psalm 116:6, “The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me” (New Living Translation). In Matthew 11:25, Jesus thanked the Father for hiding the truths of the Gospel which He taught from those who thought they were wise and clever and revealed them to the childlike. Luke 10:21 says a similar thing. Whereas childlikeness is a positive spiritual attribute a child of God should possess, childishness is not complimentary and should be done away with. It’s a mark of immaturity.
Quit childishness; grow up! There are Bible teachings that only mature Christians can receive; immature Christians will reject them or disagree. God expects you to be mature in your understanding. “Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1 Amplified Bible). Are you mature? Are you getting mature?
Paul told the Corinthians that he spoke wisdom among the mature, but not of this world or of its rulers, who would soon disappear (1 Corinthians 2:6). That means some were immature.
Your openness to the ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers) will help you to fully grow in the Lord so that you will no longer be immature like children; you won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching; you will not be influenced when people try to trick you with lies so clever they sound like the truth (Ephesians 4:11-14). However, that’s not a substitute for personal study of the Word of God and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Paul says the heir, as long as he is a child, doesn’t differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all (Galatians 4:1). Until he’s mature, that child can’t take possession of the inheritance that rightly belongs to him.
Grow up to possess all that God has for you. You can’t afford to continue to hold on to childish things. Put an end to childish behaviour in your relationship with God, your spouse, fellow Christians, and non-Christians, and in your vocation, finances, etc. Put away childish things.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from childish things. Holy Spirit, help me to quit speaking, understanding, thinking, and behaving like a child. Help me to grow into maturity, spiritually. I receive a spiritual appetite not for milk only but also for solid food. I shall grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants me to be.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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