When I was a child, I spoke as a child, understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Paul wrote this in his letter to the corinthians. Its even in the love chapter. It kinda stands out as the odd verse in the chapter. Almost off subject. But it isnt really.
I have always been sensitive to any offence. As a child, I accumulated many hurts that festered when I was a teenager, working havoc in my relationship with my parents and siblings. I could be happy and nice, but when I was hurt, I wasn’t just a little hurt, every hurt I ever felt, resurfaced and made me angry. I had a temper, but rather than let these things go, I held onto them and they made me bitter. I was not nice. I was very sarcastic.
This last week, I have been thinking about what it means to put away childish things. Yeah, I know. At ten, we start putting away dolls. At eleven, we realize not all noises are lady like and your older sister asks you to tone your voice down. By fourteen, we are maturing and by eighteen, we are wiser and more socially acceptable than our gramma. We trade in the mud from fourwheeling, for hours of washing, combing, touching up those annoying zits, and conquering that last strand of hair. All. Grown. Up.
Or not. I had great times as a child and a teenager, but I came into my 20s still hanging on to little those things. And as always, parents get alot of the blame. Obviously. ‘Cuz they raised me, right? They should have been able to read my mind and make every transitional stage of life as flawless and as wonderful as possible. I want to say, I have had a wonderful life and have been blessed with kind, patient, and loving parents.
What changed? Did they suddenly take parenting classes and become awesome parents? No. I have chosen to put away my childish understandings of things and now can understand. While they aren’t perfect, they are close enough. The hurts and growing pains of yesterday have shaped me into who I am today, and by choosing to let them go, they no longer hurt to think about. I can respect my parents and begin to cultivate a grown up relationship with them.
When we carry childish behaviors with us into the future, we lessen our chances of becoming a respectable adult. When we fight with our ‘friends’ and they are no longer worthy of our friendship, we cheat ourselves out of a deeper relationship with that person. When we are easily offended, and snub others, let’s face it- we are acting childish. When we speak ill of others to feel better about ourselves, we make ourselves worse.
SO MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS this- WHATEVER HURT YOU ARE CARRYING FROM THE PAST, FROM BEING CALLED NAMES TO BEING SEXUALLY, PHYSICALLY, ABUSED, BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, find HEALING FOR THOSE WOUNDS.
Cry it out, shout it out. Get it out. Some hurts need another person’s shoulders or ears, other hurts, simply let them go. Like rose petals on water, you just let. them. go. Let go of the hurt. Forgive. Embrace whoever it was that hurt you. They may not be your favorite person, but you will be able to look them in the eye again. Other people cannot take away your relationship with God, but I know from experience, my relationships with others can take away my peace with God. So for your personal benefit, treasure each person God allows in your life.
I have more childish behaviors to put away, and I know by the Grace of God in my life, he will enable, as he reveals. And hopefully, by the time I am an older lady, I can help those who are younger and struggling, because I will have by then have put away childish speaking and understanding, and with love in my heart, give sound advice, and be as wise as my eighteen year old grand-daughter,
God bless you as you grow up.