Child­like good … child­ish bad

Line re­mains nar­row be­tween child­hood, grow­ing up

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND - Kevin Mat­tatall Kevin Mat­tatall is the pas­tor of the Cape Bre­ton Chris­tian Fel­low­ship Church. The Cape Bre­ton Post wel­comes com­ments on his col­umn by email at edit@cb­

The Bi­ble should come with a warn­ing on the cover.

‘Be­fore read­ing this book, you should be pre­pared to grow up.’ Paul the Apos­tle wrote in 1 Corinthi­ans 13:11: “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, but when I be­came a man, I put away child­ish things.”

I won­der where the line is be­tween child­hood and man­hood? At what point do peo­ple stop act­ing like ba­bies and start act­ing like adults? How do we stay child­like in our faith to­wards God with­out act­ing child­ish in our be­hav­ior?

I like ba­bies that are ba­bies - they are so cute. Goo goo ga ga as they smile hav­ing their bot­tle but there’s some­thing wrong if you have to part their mus­tache to in­sert the bot­tle. It’s not cute any­more when you have to deal with a man by treat­ing them like you’re talk­ing to a child.

Paul points to at least two ar­eas where we should see a dif­fer­ence in those that have grown up. The first one he men­tions is in how peo­ple talk. It’s not so much how a per­son talks when things are go­ing their way - ev­ery­one sounds grown up when life is cel­e­brat­ing them - but what do they sound like when they are in trou­ble?

I guess we could ask, ‘what does a tod­dler say when you find out that the cook­ies on the ta­ble are gone and the crumbs are on their hands?’ One lit­tle boy who was asked where the cook­ies went said that his sleep­ing grand­fa­ther must have taken them. Chil­dren deny even know­ing that there were any cook­ies and then ac­cuse some­one else for tak­ing the four and a half cook­ies that were on the ta­ble. How did they know that there were four and a half cook­ies on the ta­ble?

We can be­come older with­out ef­fort and think that we are smarter so we don’t men­tion the four and a half cook­ies when we get caught. That’s not the point. It’s child­ish to deny what you did and then blame some­one else.

The sec­ond area of change is in how we think. It’s very im­por­tant what you think about and es­pe­cially what you think about your­self. Proverbs 23:7: “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.”

When we were chil­dren we knew that we were chil­dren and we were treated like we were chil­dren. The prob­lem comes when we are grown up but still act­ing like chil­dren and want to be treated like an adult.

One of the big points in who’s grown up is in their abil­ity to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for what goes right or wrong in their life. When a past due bill ar­rives at the house, when you go to your car and there’s a flat tire, when some­one sprays you with the wa­ter hose. Who takes over in­side of you? Is it your child­hood or your man­hood?

True, adults have had to put away some child­ish things. It’s not that true adults can’t act child­ish but they refuse to act child­ish. I have dis­cov­ered that as long as I think like a child I will al­ways be a child but once I start act­ing re­spon­si­bly and think like a man, then with God’s help, I can be­come a man.

Find a good church to at­tend, God bless you all.

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