Put Away Childish Things

Children who grow up in a stressful, violent, or abusive environment pick up various coping mechanisms. Whether it’s eating disorders, emotional avoidance, self-distructive behaviors or sexual acting out, these coping skills help soothe unbearable emotional stresses.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  ~1 Corinthians 13:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Our mirror may reflect an adult but inside we’re still a little child. When stressed, often unknowingly, we turn to our childhood comforter. Some are relatively harmless behaviors, like nail biting; others like eating disorders and cutting, can be very destructive. 

It’s scary how easy we can get lost and fall back into old childish patterns. When we’re in pain we may seek relief and pleasure from a habit that will ultimately bring unhappiness. 

Characteristics of Infants / Children:

  • Have a lack of balance.
  • Don’t know right from wrong.
  • Easily give in to temptation. 

At one time our coping mechanisms helped us get through bad circumstances. But now God has something better for us. He wants us to put away our childish dependencies and look to Him for our comfort. 

Characteristics of Spiritually Mature:

  • Grounded on God’s Word.
  • Discerning good from evil.
  • Steadfast in mind and spirit.

God has clearly told me to put away my childish dependencies. Can I do it? Yes, but not alone. It will take a steady diet of God’s Word and a faithful regimen of prayer and meditation. Though I may be fearful and uncertain of my own strength, with God’s help I will do it afraid!

Join the conversation :: 

How are you handling your childhood coping mechanisms? 

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