Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:11

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

For many of us, childhood was a time of simple pleasures. We occupied ourselves with having fun, hanging out with friends, dreaming about the future, and being spoiled by our grandparents. As children, we lived carefree lives. Our biggest concerns may have been who we would play with at recess, what we were going to get for Christmas, or how we would celebrate our birthday. Relatively speaking, childhood was a time of exploring and fulfilling our heart’s desires. Little was expected of us and much was given.

As we grow up, we learn that life is not always all about us. We begin by learning how to share, and then how to give, and finally how to forgive. By the time we reach adulthood, we have learned, hopefully, to be generous and gracious. We might be a little less selfish, at least in obvious ways, but at our core we are still very self-seeking. That’s how our sin nature is.

Our pride seems to grow as we do and becomes more refined in many ways; so refined, in fact, that often we don’t even call it pride anymore. We might call it dignity or self-assurance, but whatever name we give it, in truth it is really just another form of self-centeredness in a more sophisticated package. It takes the Spirit of truth to reveal these areas to us and help us trade in our childish ways for true spiritual maturity.

Although we need the help of the Holy Spirit to mature spiritually, maturity is not about how long we pray in the Holy Ghost or how many times a week we go to church. Growing up spiritually is about walking in love even when our circumstances shout against it.

Someone cuts you off in traffic or speaks badly about you at work, yet you keep your cool and respond with grace rather than with harsh words or gestures. That is a sign of spiritual maturity. When you are able to love people who are unloving, or just plain unlovely, then you’ll know the Spirit is at work in you.