Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Coupons and Maturity

Don’t you wish you could download a coupon off some internet site for a stronger, more beautiful and vibrant spirit? How convenient to redeem a heavenly coupon at a godly corner market for instant spiritual growth!

Alas, it doesn’t work that way.

Yes, I can use a coupon to purchase shampoo that promises “thicker, fuller hair” (and probably for my dog’s hair too), but it doesn’t fluff up my heart one bit.

The Psalms state many truths so eloquently, and they don’t fail us now:
“Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live” (43:3). Isn’t that where we long to live – with God?

Who is this Light the psalmist mentions? Who is this Truth? Jesus, of course! He blazed the way so that we can be “dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed” (1 Pet 2:24).

How are we to live for what is right? How are we to know what is right?

Peter lays it out in his 2nd letter, chapter 1:5-7, 10b: “Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love … Do these things and you will never fall away.”

Do we add these to our new nature under our own steam? Hardly.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen” (Eph 3:20-21).

My grown-up grans are awesome. They are productive, God-fearing and loving people. Still, I can’t hold any one of them on my lap, and not one has snuggled in between Jim and me at night lately. I haven’t pretended to eat chocolate dirt pudding with the 27 year old in quite a while. You see what I’m saying?

Our younger four are still open to that stuff. VERY open. I love it – I want it to last forever! But I know so well that it’s contrary to God’s intentions for them to stay little. I know too that we eventually would grieve over their lack of maturity – it’s unnatural. So it is with us, folks.

“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (Heb 5:12-14).