The kids table.
That's right. In our earlier, formative years, we spend countless holidays, parties, and get-togethers, relegated to that loathsome table. Oh, how we long for the sweet day that we can ascend to the adult table, or at least the 'older kids' table. We want so badly to grow up. Yet, some of us whom long to be mature never move beyond the kids table. I am now speaking metaphorically. Time is not lost on us. Although, while we progress in numerical age, our minds and thoughts are still that of a child. It's never a good site when you see a teenager at the kids table. How much worse it is when a full-grown man has to sit at the kids table. So, let's talk about why there can be a 'failure to launch' that happens in our lives. From hence forth, I am speaking to those whom are found in Christ. If you profess Christ as Lord, then this is directed to you. If not, then please feel free to read along, but know I am not necessarily speaking to you.
There are certain concessions we must make when discussing the maturity of a Christian. Just as Paul is referring to in the above passage. He calls them "brothers" but could not address them as spiritual people. Being the great church planter that he was, Paul knew his audience. This passage is no way an indictment. Rather, it is an observation. One would not expect a newborn to be able to digest solid food while it's still nursing. That would be absurd! But infants need milk. An infant needs that sustenance to survive. This is why new Christians are not asked to write a dissertation on the the sovereignty of God. There must first be a firm foundation. [a] So, what about those whom are no longer infants? What about Christians who should be mature, but are not? What about the Christian whom is perfectly content suckling at the, proverbial, breast their entire walk with God?
I would argue that if you call yourself a Christian, and are perfectly content to never grow beyond an elementary view of God, then you may not actually be a Christian. You may disagree, and that's ok. But I would ask you to listen to the words of Jesus. Again, if we claim Christ, then we should listen to him, right? In Matthew, chapter 7, Jesus warns against false prophets. Contextually, you may make the argument that "Well, that's not talking about me." However, in describing a false prophet, Jesus says, "You will recognize them by their fruits." Bad trees can not bear good fruit, and good trees can not bear bad fruit. What about the tree that produces NO fruit? In John 15: 1-6, we see Jesus refer to those in him, and those that are not. If you're not bearing fruit, again, I would argue that you are not in Christ. Are you ok with that? If you are, then please stop reading. If Jesus's words won't stir you, then mine most certainly will not.
I wont drag this out. I say all this because a "Christian" being perpetual infant is offensive. Like a grown man breast-feeding, its a disgrace. There has been a shift, and common thread, for spiritual growth in our church and in my personal life. So, I would also like to make perfectly clear that I am in no calling to the mat a Christian that is currently working through the process of sanctification. If you are pursuing Christ, and striving to be more like Him, then I have no qualms. As stated in 2 Peter 3: 18, let us grow in our knowledge of our Lord.
Where do you fall on this paradigm? Are you diligently seeking the Lord, or are you contented to be an infant? If you are content to never grow, never seek, never mature, then I say, "Enjoy the kid's table. You look ridiculous!" Also, don't be surprised when you're treated like a child. When you think and reason like child, willingly mind you, then you'll be treated as such.
Be a perpetual student!
To you whom are seeking, keep it up! To those growing in the knowledge of God, don't stop. To those whom are maturing I say, "Welcome to the adult table!"
Rev. James D. Owens