Peter Pan refused to grow up. Toys R Us would have us believe that “not growing up” is the heart-felt wish of every kid.  Aging is the scourge of many jokes and the despair of many people. Yet, nothing is more certain nor more natural.  If you’ve observed an infant during his early years, you know how amazing their little bodies mature, how they live to eat and how quickly they grow. They just don’t stay little.

One of the beautiful analogies in Scripture is of a new born baby referring to one who has been born again into a life in Christ (1 Pet. 2:2). Jesus used children to illustrate the purity and heart all Christians should develop (Matt. 18:3, 19:14). Though one starts out spiritually as a baby, he must grow up. A child who doesn’t develop and mature physically, emotionally, and mentally is suffering from something that must be addressed and corrected because something is wrong.

Christians sometimes get the idea that they are Peter Pan and don’t grow up. The Bible acknowledges and condones a period of spiritual infancy, yet it couples that with clear instruction, even rebuke, for those who do not grow and move on to spiritual maturity (1 Cor. 3:2, 1 Pet. 2:2, Heb. 5:12).

As children often do, Christians attempt to rationalize their lack of development in knowledge and work in the Kingdom.  Though the reasons tend to be a lot less impressive than the excuses. Growing up takes time. It takes effort for study and progress. It requires work and moving beyond our “comfort zone” and simple activities. If we do not accept the more difficult challenges with which we are presented, we will never grow stronger and better equipped to deal with the meatier subjects and more difficult matters.

We are admonished to “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph.4:13). A great and important task. This maturity is vital. “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head into Christ” (Eph. 4:14-16).

We cannot be babies forever. As time passes, we must be stronger, more knowledgeable, able to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. We are able to accomplish this growth by developing our skills in the work of righteousness and by constant practice (Heb. 5:11-14).

Read Peter’s final admonition in 2 Pet. 3:14-18. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”