13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming
In her insightful book “Growing Yourself Up”, Jenny Brown reminds us that we cannot make someone else grow up and act more mature – you can only grow yourself up. While Jenny is talking about family systems theory, in Ephesians here, Paul wants the Ephesian church to grow up, and points out what that does and doesn’t look like.
Just as children are vulnerable to the elements, so too spiritual children, who haven’t grown themselves up to “unity… in the knowledge of the Son of God” are vulnerable to dodgy teaching, dodgy living and dodgy scheming within the church that can break people and churches apart. Tune in tomorrow where Paul reveals what we do practically to stop getting blown away like gullible infants.
But so far, to become mature, Paul has set a goal for us all – “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”. Our finish line is nothing short of acting, thinking, speaking, living like Jesus. That’s a big goal! To grow up spiritually means to look like Jesus, and to know him. Church community mightily spurs you on in this. Godly leaders, great books, excellent Christian songs all help you keep growing. But in the end its between you and God to grow yourself up by his loving, patient power at work in your heart, so you can help strengthen others “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.”
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father,
Please make us more like Jesus. Please make us want to be more like Jesus. In our individual lives and in our community as a church, please transform us to act, think, speak and live more like Jesus week by week. We don’t want to mess around and get taken in by dodgy teaching or dodgy living that pulls us away from you and away from each other.
Please continue to work in our church to unite us all around Jesus. Thank-you that though we are all different, love different things, work in different places and have different back-stories, we all have Jesus who died and rose for us in common.
We entrust ourselves to you in these times.
In Jesus’ name,
A song to listen to: This Life I Live