In my trip back home, I got to see my new great-nephew — just a couple of hours after his birth. It’s pretty unusual for the timing to work out, but I sure was glad it did. I pray that I will get the chance to see him grow into a ﬁne young man, to become a faithful Christian, and to marry a godly wife. But long before all this happens, he will go through all the normal childhood development steps.
This got me to thinking about how beautiful the analogy of childbirth is to becoming a Christian. A sinner who has “righteousness as ﬁlthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) is buried in the waters of baptism. He or she rises to walk in “newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4) because they have been “born again” (John 3:3; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23).
A child will long for the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2), but will gradually desire and need meat to further grow (cp. 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-14). As he grows, he will learn to walk, just as we “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). Walking gives way to running, a more intensiﬁed effort necessary to get to heaven (Hebrews 12:1).
Ironically, as we grow up, there will always be a need to be children: “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (1 Corinthians 14:20). A child is not easily offended and will not hold a grudge, so in those good ways, we continue to be children. Jesus blessed the people who could understand simple, spiritual truths. He said, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matthew 13:16). But more important than understanding them is doing them (Luke 11:28). Maybe it is time for you to “be converted, and become as little children” (Matthew 18:3).