Oh! To Grow Up

There is always a desire to grow up dur­ing the years of youth. This desire, at times, seems to be an all controlling factor in a youth’s life. This phenomena begins very early in life.

Do you remember when you looked for­ward to the time when your parents would consider you old enough to have a bike? Or, perhaps, you have fond memories of the time when you were allowed to pick out sour own shoes or dresses? How many of us impatiently waited to reach the age when our parents would let us drive the family car?

Yes, youth clamor to grow up in order to reach various goals in their lives. Further, as youth, we work hard at growing up. We study and try to learn all that we can in order to reach various levels of maturity. One example would he the limitless amount of time that is given to a driver’s education course to attain to the level of maturity necessary to drive.

Notice the goals we have mentioned are all secular goals. And very few of us have to be prodded to display our most mature characteristics in order to reach these goals. Now to grow up is not wrong, nor is it wrong to work hard at developing and using our God given talents. That is our calling. However, there is a question con­cerning the goal we would have in mind as we strive to grow up.

As covenant youth we confess that we are members of the body of Christ as we stand in the line of continued generations. How­ever, as a youth, one must yet grow up and attain a certain level of spiritual maturity before he assumes the full responsibility of membership in Christ’s church. A state of maturity must be reached in virtue of which one can consciously take his position in the congregation in which he is a member, make confession of his faith consciously in the fellowship of that particular church and consciously take his place at the com­munion table. The covenant youth must come to conscious possession of all benefits God’s people have in Christ. These bene­fits he must come to know and appropriate. Further, he must come to a conscious con­viction of his calling as a member of Christ’s body as he stands within the church and in antithesis to the world. This state of spirit­ual maturity is the goal towards which the covenant youth should set his sights as he grows up. We should look forward to that time when we can take our place in the congregation in conscious faith being actively engaged in the battle of faith. Spiritual maturity should be the goal of our desire to grow up. Toward that end we should put forth our best efforts! But do we?

God gives us the means for instruction in the things of the kingdom. He provides us with parents, ministers, catechism classes and Christian schools. The opportunity to study and to learn of the things of the king­dom is ours. Yet is our desire for this spiritual growth great? Can you remember the time when you spent only an hour in preparation for catechism or for Bible study in preparation for society? Do you remem­ber the last worship service at which you fell asleep during the congregational prayer or during the sermon? One cannot grow up spiritually, if he does not study nor hear God’s Word. It often appears that we don’t want to grow up at all! How often do you consciously prepare for the Sabbath Day on Saturday evening? Do you bow your head as you enter church to petition God for grace to hear and discern His Word? Per­haps you think that prayer before worship is only for adults? But God never tells His children that they must be a certain age to pray. Prayer is necessary for spiritual growth! There are many other questions we could ask but let this suffice.

Our flesh and carnal nature often induce us to seek the wrong goals. Secular goals must not be the object of our desire to grow up. Tor the child of God cannot have both the treasures of earth and those of heaven. The devil wants you to grow up seeking him and his sphere. This does not make wrong the desire to grow up. Cov­enant youth, it is good to grow up and to want this, if what you seek is spiritual maturity and active participation in the church of Christ. Further, this is our calling as covenant seed. We can reach this matur­ity only as we seek it by the power of faith. May God grant us grace to exercise it.