In this section of “Putting Away Childish Things”, Dr. Seamands is reminded of the best selling author and psychologist who wrote a book twenty years before his own publication. Many of us have never heard of him. His name was Hugh Missildine, and his book is called “Your Inner Child of The Past”. It is a classic in the field and was of great value to Dr. Seamands. Mr. Missildine believed that the inner child rears his childlike head in circumstances he’s most comfortable in. The parent-child relationship comes to the surface and floods into present-day situations that spark memories from long ago. Publicly, the child will most likely allow the adult: the more mature side of his character to be in control while he/she remains hidden. On the other hand, while with family, husband, wife, close friends and some work colleagues the child is most likely to let his hair down. Character traits like pouting and fits of rage, brooding, selfishness, shyness, and passive-aggressive behavior becomes the most dominant coping mechanisms. Here is a pretty accurate list.
Galatians 5: 16-17 says “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
First of all, I need to point one thing out. This is not a battle between The Holy Spirit and our sinful of fleshly nature. If that were the case, God The Holy Spirit would have subdued our flesh the moment they came into contact with each other. The battle is between our flesh and the human spirit. We must always keep in mind, there were no capital letters or punctuations in the original text. They were added at the discretion of the translators. Therefore, when it comes to things like capital letters, punctuations and the like: there’s always the possibility of human error. That is why we must keep the first rule of interpretation, context is numero uno.
I think it’s important to observe that the works of the flesh are equivalent to child-like behavior. Also, when we were born again, our physical bodies were not affected. You, the real you. is a new creature in Christ Jesus. The spirit, the real you, is fighting daily to gain ascendancy over your soulish/fleshly nature. This is that inner child desperately clinging to the past. When the inner child is in his comfort zone, the human spirit fights against the flesh, and seeks the comfort of The Holy Spirit because the spirit, the real you has tasted of The LORD Jesus Christ.
Remember the words of Jesus: John 3: 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Our parents gave birth to the flesh. However, we are tri-part beings. We came into this world as a spirit, possessing a soul which lives in a body. Unfortunately, just because the body goes through the physical changes of becoming a man or a woman, doesn’t mean that the real you (spirit) has been in step with the maturity of our bodies. You could say, we’re still children wearing adult bodies.
The Apostle Paul said: Romans 12: 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The soul houses the will, emotions, and the intellect. Scripturally speaking, these three make up the human soul, and the soul is equivalent to the mind. Paul suggests that the mind needs to be renewed, not born again. Even as Christians, we struggle in life because the mind is the playground of the inner child. He lives in the past, and we must “katargeō” or:
1) to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
1a) to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
1b) to deprive of force, influence, power
2) to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
2a) to cease, to pass away, be done away
2b) to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from anyone
2c) to terminate all intercourse with one
The mind also possesses a will. The faculty we use to make decisions. Once we’re aware of that brawling, sprawling, and bawling child. We must cut him/her off before our relationship with The Heavenly Father is left shipwrecked.
1st Corinthians 13: 1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NKJV) To be continued…