I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but…this morning I woke up with these words on my mind, “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. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
The words brought a new found sense of liberty and freedom this morning. I thought for a moment of past mistakes, of things I’d change, words I would have left unspoken, foolish endeavors, and prideful missteps…but suddenly, there was liberty. It’s difficult to perfectly explain, but in a wave of grace, I was reminded that we are all (especially me) in the midst of a maturing process. Our past is not a problem…so long as it is our past and not the present.
What Paul describes here is a very simple, illustrative, and liberating truth…God’s people are in a maturing process. Just like a child sees the world, thinks about the world, and acts in the world through the lens of being a child; so do we in our Christian faith begin with scooting, followed by crawling, then walking with the assistance of support, then walking on our own, until eventual we run our faith in the journey of life. Mistakes, stumbles, and falls are a part of our journey…and the success of the journey is not measured in the amount of falls. Success is measured in the amount of growth…”Are we still scooting when we should be crawling by now? Are we crawling when we should be walking? Are we walking when we should be running?”
We make our decisions based upon what we know…what we feel…what we experience. As a child, we are pretty limited. As a child in faith, we are just as limited…”For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” Maybe it’s the rambling of fickle heart this morning, but suddenly I was reminded, ‘God’s not quite done with me yet!’ There’s still a lot that needs to be worked on…there are still some bumps and bruises to endure.
And as I was turning the page, fondly admiring my faith on this glorious morning…I was reminded of my hermeneutics professor’s words in college: “Context is King!” Paul writes of his maturation in the context of the greatness of love. Beloved, “Love” is the road upon which maturity blossoms. And love “is patient and kind;…does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude….Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
There you go! Thought it might encourage you this day…
Held By Grace, Pastor Chris