…by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Hebrews 5:12 (NIV)
I was somewhat amused as I saw the teacher remonstrating in the hall with her fourth-grade student. Apparently, his boyish behavior had not been deemed appropriate, and she had pulled him out of class. I chuckled as she told the young miscreant to “GROW UP.” (At nine years old, how grown up could he be?)
But just recently when I inquired about the absence of registered attendees for a Christian conference, I was not at all amused to learn that several folks had refused to come when they learned that certain other people would be there. That’s when I wanted to say, “GROW UP.”
In the Hebrews passage mentioned above, the writer says that Jesus, our High Priest, learned obedience by the things he suffered. He wasn’t exempted from hardships or pain or people he didn’t like because he was God’s Son. In fact, it was exactly those things that made him the perfect High Priest who is able to empathize with all our circumstances because he has been tempted just as we are—and without sinning (Hebrews 4:15) or failing out of weakness or self-indulgence or immaturity.
If we can only view those things that make us uncomfortable as opportunities to allow God’s grace to flow through us instead of running from them because we don’t like this or that, how quickly we would move forward in spiritual maturity. So what I’m really trying to say here is, “GROW UP.” (And I’m looking in the mirror.)
Father, your patience is staggering. Thank you for giving us second and third and more chances to become what you want us to be. Help us to more and more deny ourselves so that more of Jesus lives through us. AMEN.