Faith: It’s time to grow upAug 24, 2023 03:34PM ● By John Vieths
Ephesians 4:14: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
Do you ever look through pictures or home movies from your childhood? Chances are, you were so cute as a kid. Maybe you tried to help your mom do some baking and ended up with flour all over yourself. Maybe you tried to help dad in the garage and you ended up with grease on your face like it was war paint.
Even though the pictures you drew were little more than scribbles, they ended up on the refrigerator anyway. When you started writing, you mixed up your capital and lower case letters, and your words didn’t follow the lines. Some were even turned backwards. When you started walking and lost your balance, you would sit down right on your bottom without even bending your knees. It was cute and your parents loved you for it.
None of that would look cute at our age now, would it? That’s because our parents raised us and our schools trained us so that we would grow up. They loved us when we were little, but they didn’t want us to stay that way.
That is also true of our churches and of our Savior. God gives us people who preach and teach so that we will grow up.
Not everything about being children in the faith is bad. When Paul writes, “Then you will no longer be infants,” he isn’t necessarily criticizing us for going through that stage of life. Jesus even praises little children for their faith and holds them up as examples.
“Unless you change, and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” he once told his disciples.
The point Jesus was trying to get across is that as children, we tend to know our place with adults, especially our parents. My parents tell me that I used to throw some real screaming tantrums when I was little and didn’t get my way. But I never thought that I should take my parents’ place and run the family. When my parents told me something, I believed them without question.
The childlike faith that trusts God without question will serve us long after we have become great-grandparents. When he tells us he takes our sins away, we can be sure he does. When he promises eternal life, we don’t need to doubt.
But there are other voices we can’t trust so much. Some churches promise something more, but we get something less. That’s why we need a thorough education in the basic teachings of the Bible. That’s why we need to keep coming to worship and attend Bible classes so we can dig deeper into the Scriptures—so that we will grow up. Then we will no longer be infants. And unlike our physical bodies, our heart of faith can keep on growing and maturing as long as we live.
Nourish your faith in between Sundays by reading more of John’s writings at BitsOfBread.org.
You might also like: