Real spiritual growth and maturity is an either\or proposition. There is a repugnance associated with a spiritual babe in a man's suit; is there not? "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" Born again believers are not intended to grow old as sanctified runts; and thus each child of GOD must determine to: "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST." The childish frivolity rampant in our Churches is directly attributable to the lack in our character to walk with GOD. Giraffes and clowns painted colorfully on the walls, would be fitting in most steepled venues across our land; but what a sad nursery for those who claim to be saved.
In our text, Paul declares his coming out party, not unto masculinity, but unto maturity. A SPIRIT led bar mitzvah took place in his heart so that what he became necessitated that he forsake what he was. The verb: "put away" indicates total abolishment, a divorcement, not simply storing the "things" of childhood for use at some later time. The "childish things" of this Apostle didn't go to the attic, they went to the curb!
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; ..." A child is shortsighted, selfish, and has no use for "these three" tools of spiritual trade. A man, though, who endeavors to become a journeyman for CHRIST, knows a vacuum left to itself collects nothing but demonic dust and worldly debris. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" But instead "... be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD for CHRIST'S sake hath forgiven you." Bible teachers in my circle call this the replacement principle.
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [act] like men, be strong." There is a great cause for Christian men before us. Our nation, perhaps like no other time, is relapsing to infancy and S I D S ... has come to visit. The question then begs: Will we roll over in time?
"Brethren, be not children in understanding: ... but in understanding be men."