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Spiritual Toddlerhood

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Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:4

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

So my 20 month-old is now in full-blown toddlerhood.  For those of you who remember, this means a challenging confluence of impulsivity, curiosity, and—especially—independence.  It is a “perfect storm” of sorts.  The place we see this behavior the most is in her eating.

Her mom and I used to delight in peacefully (and neatly) spooning her food into her mouth.  She was fine with this until, as part of her growing up, she realized she wanted to feed herself.  She started to grab the spoon and make a big mess.  Eventually, as she has persevered, more spoonfuls make it into her mouth than the floor, the wall, and her hair.  She now demands to feed herself.    

Having witnessed this, I have to ask myself, in my spiritual growth, have I grown up to now feed myself?

How much do I sit in my “high chair” and wait to have the spoon pass my lips from another’s hand?  If I can’t or won’t feed myself, that means I’ll be real picky about who preaches what on Sunday morning.  I’ll have to hear the right choir sing “my song.”  Praise and worship has to be perfect.  I’ll put unreasonable expectations on the Sunday service because that’s how, in spiritual toddlerhood, I get fed.  Once a week…

But, if I want to be mature, I must learn how to feed myself.  What would it look like if I put the spoon in my own hand?  If I have grown to feeding myself all week through study, prayer, and service, I can look at Sundays differently. For one, it would mean my presence Sunday morning changes from just being served to serving.  I can serve in a formal ministry, or I could simply pray for the speaker, for souls to be saved, for others who are serving, and I’ll be better positioned to encourage all whom I encounter.  You can still “eat” on Sunday; it just doesn’t become your only “meal” that week.

God is calling us to take the spoon in our own hands.  Mom and Dad may still provide some of the meals, but we must demonstrate true maturity and independence by spooning it to our own hearts and minds.    

And it is when you learn to feed yourself that you will surely taste and see that the Lord is good!!

Are you growing?  Ask yourself…

  • What specific things am I doing during the week to “feed myself”?
  • What is the balance of my serving and being served on Sunday mornings?
  • Who do I feed?
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