If left entirely up to the hidden child of our past we would never relinquish control of anything. Most children want their way from sunrise to sunset. Because of this, our relationship with the world around us is adversely affected, namely relationships. We often see things through the eyes of a child and we are the last ones to admit it. I’ve been a Christian for about 38 yrs., and Christ has been the center of my life. I do not say that for a pat on the back but to my shame. Because there has been far too many times I’ve displayed childishness rather than childlike faith. Childlike faith will relinquish control, however, childish faith will not. In interpersonal relationships, I’ve seen that little boy in me make demands not only upon the people I’m closest to but upon God Himself.
Many years ago, I read a book called “Coping with Criticism” by Christian author Jamie Buckingham. He suggested that all criticism is good, and just like you I thought this man was nuts. He said whether the criticism was meant to be constructive or destructive, as Christians we should always be attentive and receive it as from The LORD. More often than not, God has sent that person to be the sandpaper that will help to mold us into mature men and women. Think about it, if wood could feel the sandpaper rubbing against its surface, would it not constantly be saying “ouch, don’t do that…stop it, that hurts”? So are the words of those who point out the bumpy places in our character. The problem is people, even your loved ones, aren’t skillful in the words of righteousness. Of course, the truth usually hurts. However, a mature man wants to know the truth about himself. Sometimes when we look at the man in the mirror 1st Cor. 13: 12″….we see (the man) in a mirror, dimly.” In other words, sometimes see what we want to see. This mirror is figurative. It is easier to find fault in others than in ourselves.
One of the most difficult but profitable things you will ever do as a Christian is to take a good long honest look at yourself. This is how we “put away childish things” while keeping our childlike faith.
Ephesians 4: 11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ.”
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.”
All of these wonderful accomplishments works and gifts are meaningless if the hidden child is still at the wheel. To be continued…