“And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.”
We understand the process of growing up physically pretty well. Every parent knows what it is like to teach their children to walk, talk, and feed themselves. As they grow older, the natural process should be that they learn and develop to the point where they can live on their own. If parents are still cutting food into little bites and “flying” them on a fork into the mouth of a healthy twenty-five year old child, something is wrong. When a physical or mental disability hinders the process of development, we rightly regard it as a tragedy.
Just as it is normal for us to develop physically, we are called to grow up spiritually. The work that God has for us to do for His Kingdom requires that we develop and mature. Paul highlighted the tragedy of Christians who do not grow up when he wrote to the church at Corinth, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1).
If we are to grow, we are going to have to put in the effort to develop our spiritual “muscles.” I read that the great cellist Pablo Casals was still practicing six hours per day even when he was ninety-five years old. When asked why he did that he replied, “I think I’m making progress.” Rather than settling down and thinking that we have arrived, we should be continuing to work and grow throughout our Christian lives. The lazy approach does not build either physical, mental or spiritual strength.
One of the greatest needs of our day is for God’s people to grow up to spiritual maturity.