Remember the old Toys-R-Us jingle? "I don't wanna grow up. I wanna be a Toys-R-Us kid".
With 2 toddler grandchildren I'm constantly reminded of the wants and needs of little ones.
- You don't dare leave them alone for fear of their safety. They don't have the wisdom or discernment about potential dangers yet.
- They want what they want, they want it now and nothing else in their world or yours matters until they get it. Little children are driven by their own wants (not so much their needs) and have no clue of priorities.
- If someone else has it, they want it. Their world revolves around them.
- They expect to be served. The concept of serving others comes with maturity.
- They don't always get it right or finish what they start. My youngest (22 months) will start counting to ten and decide to skip "7,8,9" and jump from 6 to 10. Then with excitement she applauds herself.
- Attention span? Forget about it.
When we begin as children of God with a new birth we are babes. Paul writes about it. So do Peter and John in their letters. But they make it very clear that for a Christian to remain in spiritual immaturity is abnormal. God's plan for each believer is to grow up. What does that look like? Here are a few signs of growing up:
- An attitude of gratitude toward God and those who have helped them mature.
- Finding ways to serve His body in ministry.
- Becoming a contributor not a consumer in the church.
- Looking out for ways to meet others needs and not demanding their own wants be met.
- Faithfulness at things like communion, giving, sharing their faith, time in the Word, worship and serving.
- Putting away old habits and practices and adopting new ones that reflect Christ's work in his/her life.
- Not quitting or walking away because you don't get your way.
- Being able to search the Scriptures independently rather than demanding to be fed.
- Seeking the truth rather than accepting gossip or making assumptions that are unfounded.
- Adopting an "It's not about me" lifestyle.
God wants us to grow and mature spiritually. It's part of the salvation process we know as "sanctification". His desire is to complete in us what He started, taking us from infancy to responsible adult. Paul's words in Philippians 2:1-16 say it so well. (Click on the link to read it now.)
Today is never too late to start putting the toys away.