Far Far Better | Love’s Greatness
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (v. 11)
Crying is okay for a baby. Throwing food from a high chair is expected for two-year-olds, and believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or professional wrestling is fine when you’re a kid. But we’re supposed to outgrow such gullibility (C’mon, you know pro wrestling is fake). Children go through phases as they grow and develop, so immaturity is acceptable because of their age and lack of experience. But there comes a time when such immaturity is unacceptable. Growing up is not suggested, it is expected. When we see a grown man clinging to a pacifier or a woman drinking from a baby bottle, we know something is wrong.
This verse is plopped right in the middle of the love chapter because we need a wake-up call. “Grow up!” Paul is saying. “Stop trying to impress yourselves with your gifts, and measure spiritual growth using God’s yardstick. How loving are you? How willing are you to be inconvenienced, unappreciated, unpopular, or misunderstood out of love for God and His people?” Paul is telling us that it is childish to flaunt our supposed maturity, brag about our humility, or take credit for our gifts when God knows that our motives are selfish and immature. “It’s time to become men!” Paul cries. “Put away childish things. Let go of your pettiness, hurt feelings, jealousy. Let love direct everything you do and you will grow up.” When people who claim to walk with Jesus refuse to grow in love, obedience, and humility, something is wrong. Growing up is not suggested, it is expected.
If maturity was measured on a scale from 1 to 10, (1 being infancy), how is your growth on the love scale?
Father, it’s easy to forget that love is your measure of how well I’m following you. Sin is not loving. Pride is not loving. Selfishness is not loving. I want to grow up and learn to love. Help me give up childish ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.