Featured in the March, 2006 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
A child is starting to grow up when he walks around the puddles, instead of through them.
But if you are more concerned about falling than climbing, then you have not grown up, you have simply grown old. Does growing up mean you lose your exuberance?
Being an adult means paying your own bills, being responsible for your own actions and giving more than you are taking from society and your church.
But being an adult does not mean you have to lose your sense of excitement and adventure. You can be childlike without being childish. We need to grow up, but not dry up. It is possible to be too proper, too cautious, and too safe!
If he thought like many modern believers, Peter would have never preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) for fear of being lynched. Deacon Steven (Acts 7) would have never spoken boldly about Jesus when he knew his life was endangered. Paul the apostle would have never gone on his perilous gospel journey (II Corinthians 11:23-29).
We have developed an over-protective society. Some of us have survived without warnings on ladders, smoke detectors and seat belts.
Some Christians avoid dangers in pursuing noble goals, but pay for thrill rides at amusement parks.
Really living for Jesus is an adventure. It is not always safe. There are no guarantee that you will not be hurt or killed. Persecution is promised (Matthew 5:10-12;
II Timothy 3:12). You can become so sheltered that you become stale, so cautious that you are useless.
Growing up means grappling with the rough situations in life. Growing up means becoming a strong, stable, courageous person with a life goal for which you are willing to die. The apostle Peter says that we should not be content with what we are, but be very zealous to “add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (II Peter 1:5-7). Here he gives a picture of a well-rounded, mature person.
He closes his letter with the admonition, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).