Growing up is never much fun. There are always growing pains. Pimples. Awkward moments. Doubts. Growing up doesn’t come naturally.
But, that’s why we have parents, grandparents, teachers, older siblings, friends, and mentors to help us. These more mature role models show us the way. Sometimes they teach us with words and explain what a more mature life looks like. Other times we just absorb it as we watch them and notice their behaviors. We need these people. Of course, we rarely realize that at the time. In the moment we think we’re fine all by ourselves, thank you very much. But, we all need to grow up, and it’s a process that, while we fight it, we need to go through.
Christians are called to grow up in their faith too. We all need to mature. None of us are born into the faith as fully formed Christians, in fact we all have a lifetime of growing up to do. And there will be growing pains! There will be awkward moments, doubts, spiritual pimples, and lots of questions. Spiritual maturity doesn’t always come naturally. We need mature Christian models. We need parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, and older siblings in the faith to show us the way.
If we take our faith in Jesus seriously, it’s a process that we are engaged in. Yes, much of it will just “happen” along the way. We will be formed as our parents read us Bible stories as children. The plodding hymns we sing in worship as our minds wander shape us even if we don’t recognize it. Our recited prayers teach us things even after we’ve spoken them 1,000x over.
Yes, much of our growing up is happening to us. God is working in us in ways we can’t explain. But, we are also called to more. We are called to engage and wrestle with the living God. He wants us to listen to Him as He speaks to us in His Word. He wants us to pray and call out to Him in response. He wants us to be an active part in His family, the Church. He wants us to regularly worship so that we can receive His gifts of grace and love surrounded by our brothers and sisters. He wants us to live holy lives and stop our sinning as we reflect His love to the world. He wants us to open our mouths and share the Gospel message with those who haven’t yet experienced His life-altering love.
He wants us to see Jesus. And that’s what growing up is all about. The older and wiser we get, the more we see just how much we need our Savior. The more we pray, the more we hear God’s Word, the more we sit and engage with our family of faith, the more we worship, the more we share, and the more we open our mouths to proclaim His cross – the more we will see just how much God has for us in His Son.
We are called to grow up. But, we will never grow out of Jesus. His love is too big for that.
You can check out my new book: “Growing Up In, With, and Under Jesus” on Amazon.com to read more.