"..grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
- 2 Peter 3:18
Little children are absolutely adorable! So many things that children do bring smiles to our faces and tears to our eye, don't they?
It reminds me of a time, as my family was singing and worshipping together. My little four year old son began to sing about the Lord, "He is exhausted, He is exhausted on high, and I will praise Him!" Such adorable scenes are treasures in any parents' memory.
However, it wouldn't be very adorable or humorous if a grown man or woman acted in such ways. Imagine, for example, the shock of seeing a grown man walking around in adult diapers, or of a grown woman breaking down at her office, and throwing herself on the floor in a screaming tantrum?!?
Certain actions and attitudes are cute and adorable, but only because they come from little children. When a grown adult acts this way it's anything but funny...and it can often be downright saddening!
Unfortunately, this is often the case with many Christians, spiritually. Though in their physical bodies they may be 30, 40, or even 50 years old, spiritually they still exhibit the spiritual immaturity a 4 year old.
I've heard some Christian leaders refer to this stunted spiritual growth as "Crayon Christianity". It's a sad state of affairs, in which a believer refuses to grow up spiritually and mature in their faith and walk with Christ.
Apparently, this was the sad condition of the Christians in the 1st century church of Corinth. Paul the Apostle gives us an indication of this when he says in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 regarding their immaturity:"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?"
Paul hear clearly shows us that the Corinthians we're very much into "Crayon Christianity", in the sense that they refused to continue to mature and grow up spiritually. This was obvious in their attitudes and relationships towards one another. They were acting like immature little children, gossiping about each other, dividing the church family, and just acting in unloving ways towards each other.
After all, the most mature Man who ever walk the earth, Jesus Christ, told us in John 13:35 that Christians would be known by the love that we have for one another. Biblically speaking, this is the ultimate mark of spiritual maturity: LOVE. (Read 1 Cor 13:1-7; Gal 5:22,23)
Peter the Apostle shared the same desire for the believers under his care. Before Peter was martyred by being crucified upside down, he told his flock and 2 Peter 3:18 to continue to mature and grow in their faith in Christ:"..grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
This really needs to be one of the continual prayers, and the intentional goals of every Christian disciple. We need to ensure that we are steadily and continually maturing and growing in our walk with Jesus.
So ask yourself these practical questions today:
Am I a more loving person this year than last year?
Am I steadily growing in my understanding of God's Word?
Is my character more consistently being shaped into, the image of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit?
I encourage you to speak to the Lord today, ask him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and recommit yourself to a consistent pattern and serious lifestyle of growing deeper in faith, love, and the Word of God once again!
If you have been living "Crayon Christianity", then repent of it today...and recommit yourself to grow deeply in Jesus once again! (Read Romans 12:1,2)