Not long ago, I attended my niece’s first birthday party. I gave her a baby doll with its own bottle and pacifier, and she quickly sat down to feed her new baby. Until, that is, her 3-year-old brother saw it. Taken with the doll, he couldn’t resist slipping it out of his sister’s hands to play with it himself. The birthday girl was none too thrilled about this turn of events, and every adult in the room then busied themselves trying to distract both children in an attempt to avoid a total meltdown.
Every parent has been there. Toddlers don’t have the maturity to navigate their own desires, so parents must steer the course.
Toddlers aren’t the only ones, it seems.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul called the believers infants in the Christian faith because they weren’t yet spiritually mature. He didn’t mince words, either. He asserted:
- They argued among themselves.
- They were controlled by their own desires.
- They were jealous of each other.
According to Paul, immature believers are controlled by their “worldly” desires, but mature believers are in tune with God’s desires.
That’s good food for thought, friends. Asking ourselves some probing questions might reveal answers that we don’t like. For instance, how much do my desires influence my behavior? What are my weak spots? In what situations do I seek to please myself rather than God?
I’m not asking you to do something I’m unwilling to do. After reading Paul’s words, I probed my own heart and pinpointed a few weak spots.
For me, my weaknesses become apparent when I’m tired or when my guard is down. For instance:
- Late in the day when I’m tired.
- When I respond too quickly without following James 1:19 (“Understand this, brothers and sisters, we all must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”)
- When I have neglected God and have become more “me-centered.”
In those moments, I often choose to please myself and satisfy my worldly desires rather than to deny myself and choose God-pleasing actions.
Yet, when I’m focused on God, I stay in tune with Him! For instance:
- When I’m refreshed and full of energy.
- When I pause before I speak, act, teach, or respond.
- When I choose to look for God’s activity throughout my day rather than ignoring Him and getting wrapped up in my own agenda.
So, what is my plan for living a mature Christian life? PRACTICAL DECISIONS THAT BRING GOOD RESULTS! Later this week, I’ll share those 3 daily decisions.
In the meantime friends, we don’t have to act like toddlers. With self-control through the Holy Spirit, we can navigate our desires and stay in tune with God. So, let me ask you:
What are your weak spots and how could a little self-control help you?