By Floyd Allen, Editor

Every once in a while I just sit around and reflect on some of the things from my past that come to mind. This happened again just the other day. I recalled when my dad was talking about one of my older cousins, and he said, “He never grew up, he just got big.”

       Well, being nothing but a kid then myself, I had no idea what he was talking about. Down through the years, though, having pondered these words in my heart, I figured out what he meant: He never matured! He proceeded through life with a child’s mentality, which, for the most part, manifested itself with pure, unadulterated selfishness.

       On my latest “reflection” I realized that, in many ways, I never grew up either! I mean, look how foolish and or silly I often am. Like at Halloween when I become Captain Barnacle Bill the Sailor:

Or at Thanksgiving Time:

       Now, the pondering got deeper at this point and I realized a most salient point: I did Mature, inasmuch as I always accepted the responsibility of my station in life. I was:

  • A Studious Student
  • A Wise Worker
  • A Talented Teacher
  • A Hardworking Husband
  • A Fabulous Father
  • A Witty Writer
  • A Grand Grandpa

Why, then, did I think of myself of as not growing up? I realized that it was Spiritual Based:

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14

       You see, I not only came unto Jesus as a “little child,” but to the rest of the world as well! There are a few traits concerning me that you might recognize that indicate this:

  • My Natural Naiveté
  • My Obvious Optimism
  • My Tremendous Trusting
  • My Positive Personality

My accepting the responsibility of my various stations in life is also Scriptural, as we find in I Cor. 13:11:

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.

I Cor. 13:11

While this has been true in my “physical” life, it is also true in my “Spiritual” life. Those roles in the natural are readily recognizable, but to ensure that you recognize them in the Spiritual I will share them with you here.

A mature Christian:

  • Has at least the Faith of a Mustard Seed
  • Which allows them to Trust and Obey
  • When it comes to the Word they no longer seek Milk, but rather Meat
  • They often talk with, and listen to, God
  • They accept the responsibility of being an Elder

In regard to that final point I want to point out a most salient point: When you are with a crowd of people, and your tenure as a Christian is longer than anyone else’s there, you ARE the Elder in that group! This doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 75, as the Elder it is your responsibility to fulfill the dictates of I Timothy 4:2:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

1 Timothy 4:2

When you reach this point in life you will know that you are a Mature Christian. The GOOD NEWS is that doesn’t mean you can’t wear your Turkey Hat on Thanksgiving!!!

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