Are You A Peter Pan Christian?

Does the word “mature” scare you when it comes to your faith?

portada-peter-panRecently I was meeting with a friend and I asked him how long he had been a Christian.  He answered, “ten years – but, I’ve been a one-year-old Christian for eight of those ten years.”  He went on to explain that for eight years he had not really walked with the Lord and had not grown in his faith.  And that got me thinking.

How many of us are happy never growing up in our walk with Christ?  How many of us are like Sir James Matthew Barrie’s fictional Peter Pan?  When Sir James wrote his “fairy play” about an ageless boy, he subtitled it, “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”  Does that describe your Christian life?  The Christian who just wouldn’t grow up?

Like Peter Pan many of us are happy with things just the way they are.  No challenges, no spiritual stress, no ministry work, no church responsibilities, and NO GROWTH.  Too often we go to church to be entertained or made to feel good about ourselves and never have a thought for God’s call upon our lives.  And far too many churches are happy to keep us entertained and “tipping the show” with an occasional, conscience-soothing check.

Perhaps my grown-up view of following Christ is stepping on your Peter Pan toes.  I’m not sorry.  The purpose of the “I’ve Been Thinking…” Blog is to challenge my readers to think about things of the Faith with a new perspective.  That’s all I’m trying to do here.  I’m not judging.  I’m not trying to make you feel guilty.  I AM trying to exert the Biblical concept of exhortation.

The Greek word for “exhort” means “to come along side and nudge.” So please consider this a friendly nudge.  The New Testament writers make it abundantly clear that God’s call upon every Christian is to GROW to maturity in our faith.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;   but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,    Ephesians 4:14,15 

One of the reasons the church is becoming less and less effective in reaching the unsaved with the fantastic message of Jesus is that too many of us are sitting in the church humming a variation of the “Toys-R-Us” theme song, “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a child of the King.”  We are indeed children of the King, but God never intended for us to remain children.

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.    2 Peter 3:18

Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.    1 Corinthians 14:20

Paul writes that we should desire “meat” of the word and get off the baby “milk” of immaturity.

like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,   1 Peter 2:2 

So, how do you grow up?

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.    Hebrews 5:12–14

First, are you a Christian?  Are you sure?

Do you attend a Bible believing and Bible teaching church?

Do you have a small group Bible Study?… not just for food and fellowship – but for challenge?

Do you have a spiritual mentor – Pastor, Elder, Deacon, or Bible-focused, older believer?

If you are a Bible-focused, older believer, do you have a person to mentor?

Are you praying for one?

Lastly, get out of the pew and start planting spiritual seeds and reaping spiritual crops.  That’s the work of a mature follower of Christ.  Perhaps it’s time for Peter Pan to grow up?!!

Think about it….

5 Comments

  • Matt says:

    Good word. The interesting contrast is as we grow in our faith (mature) we realize it is less and less an independent and more a dependentt life in Christ.

    • Len Allen says:

      Absolutely… the more we grow up in Christ… growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord – the more we discover we need to do more growing. Like the high school graduate that thinks he knows everything discovers he’s just a kid and needs to learn a lot by the time he lives in the marketplace for a year or two.
      We are never finished growing up in Christ… but we do need to be in the process.
      It’s the “luke-warm, stagnate” pew-sitter that really bothers the Lord.

  • Douglas A. Torok says:

    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Philippians 3:12-15
    love this passage on the issue of going forward, especially closing thought of mature ones know that haven’t arrived yet when it comes to growth!

    enjoyed the pointed thoughts brother,,,the scalpel of God’s word in the hand of the Great Physician!

  • Sue says:

    God gives us so many wonderful examples in life so that we may understand His word. Just as we are at different levels of maturity in our physical and emotional life .. sometimes mature and capable, sometimes immature and needy, so it is with our spiritual maturity. We are to approach our Faith in the trusting manner of a child, but serve Him with maturity. I forwarded your thoughts to a friend who is a pastor. I’m sure it will come in handy.

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