“Do Not Be Children”

Paul wrote, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20). In the section of vv. 20-25, Paul calls on the Corinthians to think maturely, as “adults” in Christ, rather than be controlled by evil motives in their appraisal of tongues.

No matter what the circumstance, this is wise counsel. A Christian puts away malice like old, smelly clothing (1 Peter 2:1-2). “Malice” is an all-inclusive term. Robertson stated that the word “in the ancients meant vice of any kind.” A child is innocent in wickedness, which is why Christ recommended that we be like them (Matthew 18:3).

However, in your understanding you need to be mature. The Corinthian church would greatly benefit from a mature evaluation of spiritual gifts. Our work in Christ is the same. In our treatment of scripture and each other, we need maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14). We need to not be children.

Kyle Campbell

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