1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)

“When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

 When I first began noticing powerful 4WORD statements in the Word, Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 13: 11 (KJV) really stood out. I’ve been chewing on it for weeks, actually. Put childish things away. Visions of my children scurrying to put their toys away before Daddy came home from work came to mind. 

“Hurry up! He’ll be home soon!” I’d cry out. “Let’s get the house in order. You know Daddy likes order!”

As a result of musing on this 4WORD command, I’ve been doing some introspection. What childish things do I need to put away? Whispers have come in the midst of my daily routine: 

  •  Put away your need for the approval of man.
  • Put away your need to be noticed.
  • Put away little petty annoyances.

There have been more, but I’ll spare you those details. The most important aspect of Paul’s words, to me, are found in the beginning of the verse when he states, “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 . . . ” 


This past weekend, we visited Brooke and Grant at Liberty University. Before Candace takes off for a year in New Zealand, she wanted to visit their campus, see their rooms, and spend time on their turf. Brooke’s floor of her dorm has been involved in a spiritual challenge, which has involved fasting from sweets, texting, Facebook, television, and various other spiritually renewing activities. Brooke has taken this seriously and been very challenged, which in turn, has challenged me. Sunday morning, before church, the prayer leaders offered yet one more challenge—to climb to the top of Sharp Top Mountain. 


When Brooke returned, she showed us the pictures and we all celebrated her climb to the summit! As I was looking at the pictures later on in the day, I noticed this one (above) and couldn’t help but think, “Brooke is putting childish things away. Moving forward in her faith. Moving forward in life experiences. She isn’t thinking like a child anymore. She isn’t talking like a child anymore and she definitely isn’t reasoning like a child anymore. While this is bittersweet to me, as her Mom, it is the natural process. Part of me wishes she was ten and we were sipping tea and cuddling on the couch, but the other part is proud of the woman she is becoming.

“Life always gets harder toward the summit – the cold increases,
the responsibility increases.”
(Friedrich Nietzsche)


It isn’t easy to move forward. And, it definitely isn’t easy to put childish things away. We all love to act like a child every now and then, don’t we? Who doesn’t love a good pity party? A rant or a rave? A good stamp of the feet to garner attention? (Please tell me I am not alone!) But, when a 49 year old woman is having a temper tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart (just an example . . . I would never do that . . . smile!) it isn’t pretty. And, it definitely isn’t God-honoring. May God help us put away one childish thing today. May God help us climb to the summit of spiritual maturity. We are in this climb together! And as one writer says it, “Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit” (Diana Westlake). See you at the top!

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