Faith & Insight: Grow up and stay just the way you are

Grow up! “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

The goal of every Christian is to be like Jesus — to grow up and to be conformed to his image, “transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Do what it takes to grow up! Spiritual growth, like physical growth, is optimal when all needs are met. Proper diet is needed. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Newborns long for the “pure spiritual milk” of God’s word. With growth comes solid food and meatier issues ... and more growth. Faith is exercised and stretched as resources and abilities are used in the Lord’s service. One continues to grow. As one prays and meditates upon God’s word, he sprouts upward — he grows up!

As you grow up, stay just the way you are — in some ways! Growing up requires the putting away of childish things. Childish thinking and reasoning, childish talk and behavior must go with the help of the helper. One must put away childish things while clinging tenaciously to childlike virtues of faith, hope and love. The idea is so foreign and so radical to most adults that it’s nothing less than conversion and becoming like little children all over again.

As one grows in knowledge and wisdom, he’s humbled with “humility that comes from wisdom.” When one considers “the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God” and his judgments are “unsearchable,” one is truly humbled — like a child. He sheds his “I know it all” attitude and like a beggar in spirit he longs for more knowledge and wisdom from God.

“Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats

Too noble to neglect

Deceived me into thinking

I had something to protect

Good and bad, I define these terms

Quite clear, no doubt, somehow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now.” — Bob Dylan.

Grow up, but stay just the way you are!

Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.

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