If you’re walking down the street and pass by an 8-year-old child riding his tricycle as fast as they can around the house, never stopping, you might think, “Gee, how cute is that?” If you walk down that same street, ten years later, and you pass the same house and the same child at 18-years of age, is riding the same bike and fast as they can; then that’s no longer cute. Now, in fact, that’s just sad.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.1Corinthians 13:11 KJV
Maturity is the direct result of growth, and this is exactly what Paul is talking about. There are times when certain things, certain ideas, or certain trains of thought that can be written off as childishly cute. There are also times when the exact same behaviors are no longer acceptable. There comes a time in your walk with God when you absolutely have to grow up in your understanding and behaviors. I heard it said a long time ago that “there is nothing wrong with a 5th grade understanding of God; as long as you are in the 5th grade.”
Spiritual maturity affects how you talk, how you understand the people and events around you, and how you think. It is this growth that ultimately pushes you to speak differently, react differently, and think differently. Sometimes this process is hard, maybe even a little painful, but maturity is hard work. When the day is done however you start shedding certain things and behaviors and mindsets because you realize they are childish and immature. Growing up is hard to do, and it’s not without its sacrifices, but if you are going to realize your full potential in the kingdom of God, it is impossible to hold on to childish things very long.