29th July 2017

Shouldn’t We Act Our Age?

“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”
1 Corinthians 14:20 (ESVUK)

There are times at the Pilate’s class I go to once a week, when a collective groan goes up as our teacher announces that we are going to do a particularly hard exercise that we don’t much care for. She may encourage us by telling us that she is only thirty, so it may be easier for her. Actually she must be in her mid- fifties, but somehow the proclamation of a false age makes us smile in the midst of our grimaces.

For some reason or other it is thought to be on the impolite side to ask someone how old they are. However, unlike some of us who like to claim we are of a certain age whilst withholding our true age, Paul gave the Corinthians three ages in two sentences and asked them to sign up to two of them: to be both infants and grown-ups.

Paul had been berating the Corinthians because of the chaos in their church meetings as, among other things, they vied to speak in tongues. ‘Grow-up,’ he tells them, ‘you’re behaving like children.’ Then he urges them to be both younger and older at the same time. They are to be babies when it comes to evil: no teenage boasting, lying, bullying, vying for prominence or any other sort of evil (not that such behaviour is exclusive to one age). And in the same breath he’s urging them to be mature and grown-up in their thinking.

There may be seven ages of man made famous by Shakespeare, but when we get up and greet the new day, our spiritual challenge is to fit into just two of them: humble infants who are inexperienced to evil and know no sin; and those who are mature in Jesus Christ, with our thoughts and deeds subject to him. Jesus put it another way: he told his disciples to be wise and smart as serpents, and harmless and innocent as doves. Whatever else our day may bring, we’ve got our hands full.

Our loving Father, grant us the power to live today as harmlessly as little children with innocent behaviour; but with grown-up-in-Christ thoughts and motivations, reflecting your glory.

Study by Hilary Buck


About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

Summer Educational Programme:  Today is the day Staff arrives for SEP, a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths. For more information about S.E.P. visit www.sepuk.org

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