Now It Matters
Once upon a time I read a book entitled, “Raising A Modern-Day Knight”. Early in the book the writer, Robert Lewis poses a question that is worth considering. “When does one become a man? Does it ‘just happen’ when a boy reaches puberty or when he leaves home?” The writer continues on with more examples, but I want to point to a way that he answers his questions. Mr. Lewis makes the assertion that a boy needs to have goals set so that he can check them off and his father can tell him, “now you are a man” (and knight him- hence the title of the book).
One of the most impressionable points made is the boy needs to know, “I am a man”. Why? So, he can act like a man! (Not the caricature of a man, but an upright, responsible, leader and protector) Where he can hold himself to the accountability of being a man. So, he can, as Paul expresses it, “put away his childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13.11).
What about Christians? Yes, coming out of the grave of baptism is absolutely a line of demarcation that says, “I am different now”. However, when do we start showing those mature aspects of Christianity? When should I expect to instinctually rely on God when things seem awry? When should I expect others to think of me as an example instead of as a recent convert? When do my questions in Bible class rise to the level of a “good question”?
Paul’s statement is one of growth and look at how he words his growth: “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.” In other passages, Paul is quick to point out that The Spirit sanctifies, or that God has set us apart. But here, Paul owns his maturity. The pronoun “I” is used six times in a passage of thirty words. (Twenty percent)
I need to assess where I am in life and see what kind of “ways” I frequent. Perhaps, it is time to step into a more mature roll and hold myself to a higher standard. Perhaps, I am on a plateau and need to take on more responsibility. Perhaps, I need to scold myself for my chosen immaturity. Perhaps, I need help. If you need help, let someone know. Give us the chance to help us grow.