http://bible.com/116/ecc.11.9-10.nlt Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.

Yes, there is a season of our lives when we are young. And hopefully we feel young and carefree throughout our lives,  doing what we want to do,  taking it all in. This is true of both physical youth and spiritual youth.

But we should be aware that life’s choices do have consequences. In fact each choice that we make is irreversible once it has been made. We cannot go back in time and change our decisions, and there are real consequences to our actions. So we should be mindful of the physical,  moral,  and spiritual consequences that come with our decisions.

When we are just babies,  we look to our parents to male everything better for us. They teach us and guide us,  and we stumble frequently as we are learning to walk. But we aren’t supposed to stay babes forever, we are supposed to grow up and begin learning to walk ourselves. And we are supposed to eventually become responsible adults who can father and raise children of our own. This is true of both physical and spiritual maturity.

http://bible.com/116/1co.13.11-12.nlt When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

You see, we do not yet have perfect vision and understanding of God. If we did, we would be filled with the fear of God,  and we would not sin. If we truly grasped the fullness of God’s glory,  if we believed with our every fiber,  if we were filled and walking in the very presence of God,  fully upright as a perfected reflection of our teacher, we would look and act a lot different than we do.

But does it help a little child to beat themselves up with worry and anxiety and guilt and shame over not yet being able to do those things that their grown up patents can do? Or does it help them to accept the reality that they ate a child and that there are lessons to be learned and work to be done each day as they learn to walk and talk like their teacher.

We should examine ourselves and be honest with ourselves about the way that we ate living our lives. If we are living like spiritual infants, still stumbling and soiling our garments, we need to recognize and acknowledge this about ourselves and dedicate effort to learning from our teacher. But we don’t do this out of shame,  we do it because we know that we are going to grow up to be like our teacher.

You see, it comes down to whether we want to be like Christ or we don’t. And we must not let our minds trick us into believing that we want to grow up and be like Christ when we really just want to remain in our childish ways. It truly is a question of the heart.

So what do we love today? Who are we going to serve today?

Yes,  we may stumble at times,  because we are not yet perfected reflections of our teacher. But you see, our teacher is patient and kind and loving and forgiving – so if we are seeking His will,  if we want to learn He will teach us.

But He is also just and true. And our choices do have consequences. And we will have to answer for those decisions,  and there are physical and moral and spiritual payments due. And that debt is a heavy debt that we cannot repay on our own.

He has paid our debts, friend. Let’s rejoice and give thanks – not because we believe that we don’t have to pay the consequences, but because we are grateful that He will help us stop continuing to accrue so much debt and burden in our lives – that He will strengthen us through the Holy Spirit to be a living sacrifice to glorify His name through our born again lives.

Why would one accept freedom only to step back into slavery, unless they never truly knew freedom at all? Let’s live free today,  friends. Not just foolishly thinking that we are free from consequences – but living free from the slavery of sin – resisting evil and seeing it flee from us – standing upright and walking – keeping our garments clean.

Even though we may yet be little children at the Father’s feet, let us put on His robe and follow in His footsteps, for we are His children,  and He is our teacher.

http://bible.com/116/luk.6.40.nlt Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.

Youth is not eternal. It ends either in our reaching maturity or in us meeting death before we have had a chance to mature. This is true of both physical and spiritual life and death. So are we living today seeking to mature spiritually? Or are we just stumbling until it is time for us to die still in our infancy?

Please,  understand these words as encouragement. Because all it takes to walk towards the spiritual maturity that we are meant for is to seek help from the teacher, Jesus Christ. Seek Him out in prayer and study and praise and worship. He is ready to heal you,  He is ready to strengthen you,  He is ready to teach you to walk upright.

Get up!  Take up your bed and walk! Your sins are forgiven! Christ Jesus tells us.

Get up and walk.

Get up and walk!