A Season to Grow Up


Here in Alaska, it is the season of studded tires.  Now, as a southern boy, I have no concept of this and getting to see them for the first time on cars and bicycles, is just a little odd to me. They are far more practical than snow chains but it is just...odd.

Change does that to us.  As we change with the season and experiences of life, there is always an “adolescent” period where we awkwardly come of age and we must incorporate the changes, the “hormones” and growth spurts and growth pains, into the journey toward maturity. 

And the spiritual journey is no different. 

Even so, we don’t want to talk about it.  Though the great leaders and theologians of many faiths speak and teach on growth, even indicating how like infants they are, our version of the Christian faith is egotistical and built upon spiritual celebrities.

Paul speaks to the church at Corinth and rebukes their attitudes and how they stand so “mature” in their own eyes.  I have been “rebuked” as a pastor for not giving “meat” in sermons enough times to get how these words of Paul get abused.  If you and I determine we need more “meat” we don’t need to look farther than Paul’s words:

1My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That's why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned. 2 So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot, 3because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves you are not spiritual and you are acting like the people of this world.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

It seems to me, the Bible’s images are more often slow growth models.  Not only are the images of human babies like Paul, but also like the Psalm writer who notes we are to be “like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season.” (Psalm 1:3)  Not too soon or out of season, not forced or rushed but we grow and produce fruits “in season.”

Paul points out the church was acting like “the world.”  How does the world act?  The world is “jealous” and people “argue with each other.”  Uh... hello???  Anyone listening? 

The spiritual journey requires watering and maturing not steroids and botox.  If you are constantly in arguments and expressing jealousy then make note of it - the issue is in you and it is a sign you are not growing.

Ask yourself if you are keeping your soul watered?  What exactly does that look like?  Are you spending time in God’s word?  Prayer? Journaling? Meditating? Walking?  What fruit are you bringing to the world?  

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