Lucas must have been about 18 months old when he learned. He was so thrilled he could not get enough of it. I caught him grabbing a hanging bath towel at the hem, which was the only place he could reach, and blowing his nose on it. Then he came running to me, for hugs and kisses I assumed; but no, as soon as I picked him up, he grabbed my shirt and blew his nose on it. When I finally realized what was up, I caught him just as he made a beeline for a clean pile of laundry waiting to be folded, and caught him before he could jump into the basket and blow his nose all over everything. It was suppertime, though, when I realized that teaching him nose-blowing etiquette was of paramount importance. I sat him in the high chair and he promptly reached out and blew his nose on—no, not his napkin—his biscuit!
Now when I have a cold I am glad I can blow my nose, but it’s no big deal. Lucas, on the other hand, had learned something new. It made his life so much easier and he was excited to practice it. Now where am I going with this one?
Two people walk into the meetinghouse on Sunday morning. One comes in with a ho-hum expression, sits near the back, tries not to fall asleep, and leaves looking much as he did when he arrived. Another comes in smiling, hugs everyone in sight, sits near the front taking copious notes, asks questions in class, and even stays afterward with more questions. Which is the “mature” Christian and which is the babe in Christ? Isn’t it sad that we all know the answer to that one?
Why have we “mature” Christians—or should I just say “old” converts?--lost our enthusiasm? Why is it that we need to learn from the babes the joy of salvation, the diligence of study, and the satisfaction of serving others, when we should be giving them the example? Why is it that the ones who should least understand the importance of salvation are the ones who appreciate it the most? Have we forgotten what we know, or are we just bored with it? Are we, like the Pharisees, so enamored with our own sense of righteousness that we actually think we have saved ourselves?
Unfortunately for the babes, many will learn from our example and become just like us. Let’s rekindle the fire. There is a reason for the term “revival,” and it is not an unscriptural word. Let’s start behaving like mature Christians ought to behave, like children of God who live lives of joy and are thrilled to be able to call God their Father and Jesus their older brother. Isn’t that amazing?
Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause your indignation toward us to cease. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you draw out your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your lovingkindness, O Jehovah, and grant us your salvation. Psa 85:5-7