“When I was a child,” Paul writes in his great letter to the Corinthians, “I spoke as a child. … But now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
I think this passage is most important for the way in which it frees us from guilt. Nothing is as deadly to our spiritual awakening as a regretful focus on old attitudes or actions that we now recognize as childish, spiritually speaking. The choices we made are in the past; the thoughts we hold about those choices are very much a part of our present consciousness.
It doesn’t matter. We don’t earn divine love and support through obedience to the details of the Law. It isn’t even a question of good works. It’s about simply accepting ourselves as God’s loving Presence, releasing guilt about our childish past and deeply appreciating our new spiritual maturity.
No one blames a child for having childish ideas, or for expressing them in childish ways. They are appropriate to that particular stage of awareness. No one expects a child to express adult ideas. The key, the essential ingredient, is our willingness to set aside childish things – and the false sense of security them seem to offer as we grow in spiritual awareness.
Today, let us release all judgments of ourselves and others, focusing instead on our willingness to set aside childish things and childish ways, and to grow in love and faith. Thank you, God!