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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Don't be Peter Pan

Do you recall the movie Peter Pan, an adaptation of Sir James M. Barrie's 1904 play about a boy who never grew up and an ongoing war between Peter's gang of rag-tag runaways and the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place. When I think of Peter Pan I am reminded of the Latin terms Puer Aeternus, a pop-psychology concept of a male adult who is socially immature. Peter pain feared maturing. Let's talk growing up spiritually.

In 1 Peter 1:22 2:3, we learn of Apostle Paul praising his Christian friends because their proof of growth is revealed in their obedience to God. Our spiritual growth shows that we have committed to loving others with a pure heart. We learned last week being a disciple of Jesus requires you to put God above all things. Verse 24 explains why we need faith in a God that is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. "For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off, 25 But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.

Spiritual growth happens from inside out. For this reason Paul says to rid of depravity, malignity, deceit, insincerity, hypocrisy, grudges, envy, jealousy, slander, and evil speaking of every kind.  These are all matters of the heart. If we cannot learn to control these hindrances we will be like Peter Pan spiritually.  We will fail to move successfully through the proper stages of our relationship with God.  The simple things will upset us and rock our boat, refusal to acknowledge the doors we have opened, the idea of not growing spiritually will also develop into narcissism. When we do not try to develop our spiritual relationship we are saying we are good where we are and we no longer need God. We put ourselves at the center of the world. 

What would you identify as a continuing area of immaturity in your life?