There are obvious and not-so-obvious stages of maturity in The Kingdom. And they cause a lot of friction because we are looking for unity of the faith and expect to see it inside our doctrines.
But that can’t happen when our faith is such a uniquely personal thing to each of us. After all, we created denominations so that like-minded people would worship together, and still the understanding within each member is different.
No one is the same. We grow at different rates and in different directions.
For instance, like members of a family, the infant can’t walk and the grandfather can’t crawl again. They don’t even have words between them. Only noises. And when the baby has grown to 6 or 7-years-old, there is still little understanding between the two.
Love is the only connection between the various levels of growth.
But as we progress into Believer’s adolescence, we seem driven to explain our new insights to Believing infants who frustrate us with their inability to understand.
We don’t want to grow churches with exclusive groups but we don’t know how to avoid it because there are only a few who seem to really understand us. So we band together and resent the group who won’t let us inside.
Even when we were children and the teenagers were doing things we wanted to do, they wouldn’t let us. Sometimes they laughed and teased us. But it was simply a stage of development that comes naturally. And no, they didn’t know everything yet. But they knew a lot more than they did as kids.
In addition to age differences, we are all talented and gifted at something different. And as loving as our hearts might be (or not), not everyone is gifted to work in the nursery with the babies. Not every adult knows how to talk to a 15-year-old. And not every grandmother is Mrs. Doubtfire. So it’s a bit unreasonable to expect every Believer to handle every conversation with finesse. Sometimes the best we can hope for is that peace will reign.
Even adults who are blessed to be good teachers will find a new group of young-uns’ coming right behind this group.
The farther we mature into adulthood, the less the kids will understand our actions. Only adults understand adults. And that makes them look unfair and elitist to the younger ones. But even adults only understand each other in like-experiences.
So what’s a learning Believer to do?
A question was presented and you explained the answer as best you could. But even with the nicest demeanor and simplest words, they frowned and walked away. And they might have called you a few choice names or blocked your friendship in the process.
But that doesn’t really matter because I see the unity of the faith like a family who has the same last name. We all have HIS name. Jesus. Other than that we are as different and varied as the stars in the sky. And that is how it will be.
The Church is really like a family with various ages and corresponding levels of understanding.
So, is an era coming when everyone will be of the exact same maturity? It doesn’t seem likely. That’s not the way God created the world.
Therefore, I have come to tell you not to feel guilty when misunderstanding happens. So often it’s the unavoidable gap between levels of maturity. And the only bridge is quiet, simple Love, from the heart.
Some of us are mean, angry little snots who are constantly getting into scuffles on the playground. And some of us are foolish teenagers running around thinking we can change the world with our loud voices. Parents and adults do their best to organize the whole thing and keep the ruckus down to a dull roar. Meantime grandma and grandpa sit rocking on the front porch enjoying the sunset with great satisfaction.
This little article isn’t meant to make excuses or create more exclusivity. It is to promote a teeny bit more understanding in the family.
Thank you for joining me on this little journey. I hope for blessings on yours.