The End of Childishness (1 Cor 13:8-12)

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 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. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:10–12, KJV)

I read a book once but cannot remember the author. It had to do with the church. In one chapter, the author wrote about the “twaddlers.” This is my take on what I read. The twaddlers were the immature, the ones that often-made mistakes. They were not deep in the Scriptures. They were infants in Christ. Some in the church had the idea that they needed to get rid of the twaddlers. Yet, they later came to a conclusion that when you got rid of the twaddlers you just saw a new level of twaddlers. In fact, if you got rid of all the twaddlers, you would no longer have a congregation. I venture to say that not even the pastor would be there. Why do I say this? It is because when we consider the standard of perfection, Jesus, we are all twaddlers.

In speaking about the necessity of love in a believer’s life, Paul goes on to say that “Charity never faileth.” Yet, he indicated that prophecies would fail, that tongues would cease, and that knowledge would vanish (v8). These were things which the believers in Corinth prided themselves. Yet, a time was coming when things would change. He further indicated that right now believers only know in part and prophesy in part (v9). However, a time of perfection would come when the partial would be put away (v10).

To bring his point home, he speaks about himself as a child and moving to maturity. Children do childish things and have childish understanding. At maturity, childish things are put away. Now, we all must, by Gods grace, pursue maturity, but perfection we shall not achieve in this current mortal life.

Paul indicates that we are in a sense childish. Why? It is because in this life we “we see through a glass, darkly.” The word darkly, ainigma, refers to an obscure saying, an enigma (Strong G135). It is something hard to understand, something obscured and mysterious. Now, we only “know in part.” Yet, someday, the obscurity will be removed and we shall see clearly and know precisely.

So, what is the point of this? It is to realize that none have achieved perfection. Rather than being puffed up with knowledge, in using prophecy, and speaking in tongues, believers should maintain a humble perspective. With the right perspective they will manifest humility, emphasizing the outpouring of love towards one another.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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