By Efo Courage©
” When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”
What is Childishness?
According to the Macmillan English Dictionary, a childish person is one who behaves in a silly and annoying way like a child or it is used to describe behaviors that is not reasonable or senseless.
A childish person can be said to be one who behaves immature or juvenile when a situation actually demands a certain level of maturity to handle.
Areas where one can be childish
The reference scripture details three (3) distinct areas one can act childishly, these are;
• In our Speech
• In our understanding and
• In our thoughts
We are going to take our time to look at all three areas and study examples from the bible, starting with the very first one.
Words carry tremendous amount of power and have the ability to influence and/or alter destinies and futures. A childish person is easily susceptible to making loose and unguarded statements, which are potent enough to destroy them. An example of this in the bible of someone who behaved childishly in speech is Esau in Gen. 25:32 after he had returned from the field hungry and found his brother preparing stew…” …and Esau said I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do me?” with just that one statement Esau sold his destiny and carelessly transferred his birthright blessings away to Jacob. Esau made a loose and childish statement in Gen. 25:32 which would later cost him his blessings in Gen. 27:38; 40…
” And Esau said unto his father, hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me…” and earn him a curse in Verse 40 of the same chapter…”and by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve your brother….”
According to the Word Web application from google play store, understanding is the cognitive condition of someone who makes sense out of a seemingly senseless situation. For someone to understand something it means the person knows and can both comprehend and perceive the nature and/or meaning of that thing mentally and psychologically.
A childish persons understanding of issues is limited, basic and downright senseless. He or She lacks the proper mental and psychological acumen to adequately process information not to talk of implementing it to gain the required results. In the bible especially in the book of Proverbs 2, wisdom and understanding (discernment is used in other versions) are always used together because it is only when knowledge is understood that it can be rightly applied (wisdom).
An instance of childish understanding can be found in Hebrew 5:13 which says…” for everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe”.
A child will do the wrong thing and not understand why it is wrong until a more matured person is able to explain the reasons why the thing the child did was wrong.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gave the following definition it said “Thoughts are the mental efforts that you make to understand something, make a decision or solve problems”.
A childish person’s thoughts tend to be self-centered and more often gravitates towards self-gratification and preservation, instead of God centered and people oriented. An example of childish thinking can be found in the case of the parable Jesus gave about the rich fool in Luke 12:16-20….” And he spoke a parable unto them saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, what shall I do because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, this will I do; I will pull down my barn and build greater…and I will say to my soul, thou hast much….take thine ease, eat, drink and make merry…” this rich fool as the bible calls him thought he was entitled to enjoy the wealth he had accumulated forgetting that it was God who had granted him the grace to have what he was enjoying and for his childish thought God took his life from him in verse 20….”But God said unto him, thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee…”
Our thoughts are part of our driving force in life and there are a lot of implication to it if we have the wrong kind of thoughts.
Growing from the Childish Stage
Decide to Grow
One thing we should understand is growing old in age is a natural phenomenal that happens to all of us irrespective of race, creed or religion but maturing is a matter of individual choice.
Ultimately a childish person would need to make the decision to abandon his or her childish antics and take responsibility for his/her actions as an adult. Hebrews 5:13-14 says
“For everyone that uses milk is unskillful…for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age…”
Endeavor to go Deep
Ps. 42:7….” deep calleth unto deep…”
For a childish person to grow he or she must endeavor to seek and know the deep things pertaining to God. He can only do this by spending more time in reading the word of God, and seeking God through prayer and fasting.
Building right Relationships
1King 12:8…” but he forsook the counsel of the old men…and consulted with the young men”
The old saying “birds of a feather flock together” holds true in this point. You cannot expect to grow out of your childish nature if you keep the same old company you have had all this while. To grow you will need to associate yourself with likeminded individuals who are willing and ready to grow and help you grow into maturity
Deciding to mature and let go of childishness can seem like a daunting task, but in the end the long term reward is worthwhile.