Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

When was the last time you had an argument where, upon later reflection, you know you were unreasonable and acted in a way that is inconsistent with who you are? It happens to us all. No one expects a toddler to reason well, but as we age, we’re expected to think and act with a certain level of maturity. When we don’t do that, we might refer to it as acting “like a baby.”

Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians, “Do not be children in your thinking,” was similar in meaning. Among the problems in that church was their desire to selfishly use unexplained tongues in their worship gatherings. Whereas prophecy communicates a clear message to all who listen, tongues provide a message that is only understood by the speaker. Paul offered them strong words to get them to see the effect their self-centered worship had on outsiders. They had issues of immorality among them, too. When Paul wrote, “Be infants in evil,” he was telling them if they wanted to revert back to infancy they could do that by getting rid of the immorality among them. Their thinking, however, should be advancing in maturity.

Paul indicates our infancy or maturity is, in some regard, a choice. Is there an issue where you might need to hear the same strong words, “Don’t think like a baby?” Like the Corinthians, our self-centered attitudes impact more than only us. When we engage in disagreements over non-essential matters and insist on our way, it damages our witness. We waver in our faith, and we cause other people to waver in theirs, too.

• Spiritually speaking, in what area do you need to be more mature in your thinking?

• What would it look like for you to be an “infant in evil”?

• Thank God for His Word that confronts your issues with grace and truth. Invite Him to help you grow in your faith and become more mature in your thinking so that you might reflect Him well to the world around you.