What’s the difference?

It is always a joy to watch a 3-year-old try define a complex emotion with their limited vocabulary. It’s not like it’s the child’s fault, it is, after all, merely all the child has to work with. Inadequate as their expressions may be, that’s the extent of their command of the language. But one day, those incoherent utterances will turn into the fine-tuned rhetoric and musings of an adult; an adult fully capable of articulating and spewing forth idiosyncratic jargon with great poise and abandon. This is just one facet of growth and maturity, an expectation that we hold forth for all people. The movement from childish to maturity is not only expected, it’s necessary. There’s nothing endearing about a 50-year-old man that still throws a tantrum and rolls around on the ground when he doesn’t get what he wants.

Mark 10:13 – 16 “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me;  do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.(emphasis added)” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

1 Corinthians 13:11 “ When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Two words that cause great confusion, childish and childlike. Although they seem similar, they are miles apart in their definitions and therefore their implications to us. But what is the difference? And does that difference really have that much bearing on life as we know it? That’s the question I want to pose at this juncture. I want to leave it unanswered this week to give you, the reader, an opportunity to determine whether you ask yourself this question often, if at all.

What is the difference between these words?

What are the implications of that on my walk and my life?

How do I uphold one and avoid the other?


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