When reading 1 Corinthians 13:11, I think it has been misinterpreted when read because for some reason many think they have to be these "serious" people when reading “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.” That had nothing to do with getting rid of the playfulness and enjoyment in life. This verse meant the immaturity of the child in that his development of understanding, thinking, and speech had not yet matured. In fact, the Corinthians were overvaluing tongues and undervaluing love.
Becoming a man and putting away childish things is learning to follow God’s commands, not focusing on how to live as society leads you to live (see Romans 12:2). A developing child often gains knowledge creating a loss of innocence. The knowledge gained from a child often comes from the influence and actions of parents. That knowledge may be something they weren't quite ready to know. Our environments can lead children to live lives with stress rather than playful and carefree, and the children need more of a loving environment to keep the childlike spirit that we all need in life-including adults.
The first and greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Learning to love others is so important as we sometimes forget to seek after truth when it comes to loving one another. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, we find that the Apostle Paul describes love by personifying it with 16 action verbs. Love forbears. It acts mercifully. It does not enviously want what other people have. It does not brag. It does not puff up. It does not act obscenely. It does not demand its own way. It does not become irritable or angry. It does not strive to get even with others. It does not delight in injustice. It rejoices with the truth. It endures anything for the sake of the gospel. It generously believes the best about others rather than being sinfully cynical. It wants others to flourish. It keeps on enduring. It lasts forever.
If you have a difficult time loving others as God commanded us to do, don’t beat yourself up. This life is a journey and now is the time to begin moving towards freedom in our hearts. Join my Facebook community to continue being nurtured and cared for as you grow into the woman of God you desire to be.
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