The toy boxes I keep for my visiting grandchildren overflowed with broken pieces, odd parts, and dried playdoh. As I tossed doll arms, car wheels, crayon wrappers, and puzzle parts, I also found toys my grandchildren had outgrown. I purged the toy boxes further and I saved some of the things I removed to put in a yardsale. One day the girls came over and discovered the box of discarded items in my garage. They dragged it out and began pulling toys and tossing them on the floor as fast as they rummaged through the box of long-forgotten toys. “Whoa, put those things back in the box. You’ve outgrown them. You have plenty of other things to play with. I’m gonna sell these in a yardsale.” With minimal protest, the girls put the toys back in the box and went on to play with other things.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
Ever think about the things you’ve given up as you’ve grown as a Christian? As I read Chapter 13 of First Corinthians, I noticed several things that should be discarded from my life: Impatience. Judgemental attitude. Jealousy and envy. Rudeness. Unkindness. Negative thoughts of others. Selfishness. These are things children exemplify on a daily basis while playing with one another. They love to tattle on one another and blame another for what they do wrong. They don’t like to apologize when they misbehave or lose their temper. They don’t like to share. They are often jealous of another’s toys. They want their way and find it difficult to do things another’s way. They are disobedient and tend to whine when they don’t get what they want when they want it. Many times they resort to lashing out and hurting others because they are dissatisfied with a situation. Childish ways. Childish things.
Can you relate, as I did, to these things in your adult life? Do you know folks who have not given up childish things? Attitudes? Actions? God expects us to grow in His grace and rely on Him to help us give up our self-centered desires. If we focus on the feelings we have whenever we indulge ourselves in anger, jealousy, or impatience, we quickly recognize how unpleasant our lives are. How much more so is the unpleasantness to others as they experience our childish ways.
PRAYER: Lord, help us see the childish things in life we are still holding onto. Open our eyes so we can put away the things which do not bring You glory. Give us grace to grow beyond the childishness we cling to. Fill us with Your patience, your stead-fast self-control. Let us be the example we need to be for our children and others.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2009