“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Cor. 13:11)
What exactly are “the ways of childhood”? Children depend quite a bit on others to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. Their understanding of things is from the perspective of a child. They are largely consumed with their own needs and not very concerned with the needs of others, and they do not yet carry much responsibility because they are not able They are children. In verse 11 Paul says he “thought and reasoned like a child.” Children think of what they want and need; their reasoning is “I need something and someone ought to get it for me!” “I’m hungry, feed me.” “I’m thirsty or hot or tired or whatever.” “I’m uncomfortable, and I demand that you do something about it!” They have no thought about what you might need or for anyone else’s comfort but their own.
But when we become adults, we have learned that the world does not revolve around us, as we once thought. Others have needs also. By this time we have learned to give as well as take from others and to be considerate and compassionate. We put the ways of childhood behind us, no longer demanding to have our every need met. Likewise, God expects you, when you are full grown in the faith, to put others first, before yourself, to reach out and to begin to meet some needs that are all around you and to put yourself aside. How does that relate to the “love chapter”? It is what our Master, Jesus, did when He was “full grown,” and He is our example. So let us love not just in word but in deed also and “put the ways of childhood behind.”
Yours in love and in Christ,
(To access the entire “Lessons in Love From 1 Corinthians 13” mini-series, please click here.)